Australia is a Nation of Bargain Hunters, says Coles Insurance Research

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• Over 80% (four out of every five) of Australians regularly scout out deals • Australians actively pursue savings on car insurance ahead of credit cards and mortgages • Finding savings makes us happy, says leading psychologist Dr Timothy Sharp, aka Dr Happy

Coles Insurance

Coles Insurance

The rising cost of living is making Australians hungry for savings, according to new research* launched today by Coles Insurance. The vast majority (81.9%) of Australians actively pursue savings on a regular basis and most are prepared to spend nearly two days (45 hours) on researching deals before making a purchase.

The Coles Insurance research explored the areas of our lives we are most likely to pursue savings , the reasons for pursuing savings and how we like to go about sniffing out a deal. According to the research, the top five items where Aussies most actively hunt for bargains are:

Table one: Top five items where Aussies actively hunt for bargains
Ranking    Item and percentage of Australians actively pursuing savings
1.        Groceries (89.5%)
2.        Clothes and accessories (77.8%)
3.        Holidays (66.8%) / services & utilities (66.8%)
4.        Entertainment/ eating out/ socialising (66.6%)
5.        Car insurance (60.1%)
Source: Coles Car Insurance, February 2011

Common reasons cited for pursing savings were interest rate rises and general market conditions (54.3%) and higher motoring costs (51.2%). Tony Buffin, Coles Finance Director, said the research showed Australians were taking responsible steps to overcome household budget pressures.

"Australian households are having to tighten their belts for a variety of reasons and our research shows that most are adept at seeking out the best money saving deals," Mr. Buffin said.

Aussies hunt for deals on car insurance over and above any other financial product

On the whole Australians actively pursue savings when purchasing car insurance (60.1%) more so than credit cards (44.1%) home insurance (51.7%) and mortgages (24.8%). Before sealing the deal on their car insurance, Australians will spend an average of 1.5 days (37.8 hours) to see what the various providers have on offer.

"It’s not surprising to us that Australians are actively seeking deals on car insurance over any other financial product. Our own analysis has shown there can be stark differences in car insurance pricing across the country, so it’s important to shop around to find a good deal.

"Because we all buy insurance, Coles is determined to bring better value and greater choice to customers no matter where they live," Mr Buffin said

Recent analysis by Coles Insurance shows in some instances the difference in the quoted price for some competitor car insurance policies can be more than double** the Coles Car Insurance quoted amount for the same vehicle. According to Coles, drivers across the country could be over-paying by as much as $400** or more for their cover.
Gen Y Australians spend the most time (75.3 hours) researching deals before signing up for a financial product, followed by Gen X (52.3 hours) and Baby Boomers (45.7 hours).

Making savings provides a deeper sense of satisfaction

Leading positive psychologist Dr Timothy Sharp, aka 'Dr Happy' says it’s a good thing over half of Australians (51.1%) are thrifty savers. "While we get immediate pleasure from purchasing items, it's the savings that give us the most long term satisfaction.

"The power of taking small steps such as making savings on every day household items should not be underestimated. It’s these steps that could eventually add up to achieving our bigger goals in life. Spending generally results in short term buzz, whereas savings provide a deeper sense of satisfaction over the long term," Dr Sharp said.

Savings fever set to grow as most turn to catalogues to find a bargain

It seems that our desire for deals is not set to fade any time soon with one in three respondents claiming they will be definitely more inclined to make savings in the next six months.

When looking at the mechanisms we use to save, the research showed the majority of Australians like to feel they are in charge of their own savings destiny with 'shopping around myself' being the main savings mechanism used by almost three in four (72.5%) of the population.

Despite the hype around online shopping it seems the traditional catalogue is still the one with 69.4% of Australians preferring this tool to find a bargain.

"While the way in which we gain access to savings may change over time, it's encouraging to see our commitment to finding them doesn’t look set to dwindle any time soon," concluded Mr Buffin.

To access great savings on car insurance, Aussie drivers can visit or call the Coles Insurance Contact Centre number on 1300 265 374.

Notes to editors
*On behalf of Coles Insurance CoreData-brandmanagement conducted an online quantitative survey of 882 Australians between 8-16 February 2011.

** Analysis from Coles in February 2011 shows Coles Car Insurance is on average at least 10% cheaper than competitors right across Australia. Additional analysis is available on request.

Coles is an Authorised Representative of the insurer Wesfarmers General Insurance Limited (WGIL) and both are part of the Wesfarmers group. Coles receives commission if you buy a policy from WGIL. Any advice is general only and doesn’t consider your needs and before acting on it, consider if it and the product is right for you by reading the PDS and FSG available at


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Susie Lambert
Honner Media
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