Save money on your Home Insurance by following up on the Automatic Renewal when it comes in.
My real example was
- I received my Home Insurance renewal documents about 10 days ago, quoting a premium of £300.30
- The documentation was very clear, if I did nothing, I didn’t need to worry, the insurance would be renewed automatically
- The documents did not tell me what I had paid last year. I believe the law changed on 1st April that this is now a requirement. MoneySavingExpert article here. These documents were received on 25th March.
- I put the document away because we had visitors coming and I wanted to tidy up.
And there it might have stayed, I would still have been insured, but I would have paid £300.30. Fortunately I am not quite as dozy as that. So today I eventually got around to pricing equivalent policies.
I have a very simplistic attitude to insurance policies. I only claim when I really need to. About twenty years ago, we had to replace two 5ft square double glazed windows, because a local ‘prat’ had decided it would be good fun to use the back of our house as target practice with a BB gun. There were pock marks all over but it had broken the seal on these two windows. £500 each to replace. That was my last insurance claim. I’ve not claimed for replacement carpets or even when all our cupboards fell down, which I wrote about here.
Given that we have since ended up replacing one of the monitors and the router, getting the wall fixed and the room redecorated, it would have been reasonable to do so.
The same company has both our car and house insurance. Again, we made a car claim about 20 years ago, when an elderly car was pinched from our driveway (less secure than a modern car..), and written off by joyriders. Value £400! So in the last 20 years we have been insured with this company, they have paid out £1,400. So I think we are, what is known as, good customers!
First of all I checked how much my policy had increased. From £273.75 to £300.30
Then I started online, and did a google search, House Insurance. Among the many results returned was Confused.com so I thought I would give them a try. So I did.
It wasn’t the quickest process, I had to answer many questions, but it was pretty straightforward.
Many results returned with renewals from £139.22 upwards to £300 and more.
I selected Tesco at £180. Why? Quote me Happy was the cheapest, but their policy only gets 3* in the Defaqto rating (an independent insurance star rating), Tesco was next, but Privilege and Churchill were pennies different. I would have been happy to go with any of those.
Just before I pressed the button,
- I ensured I was comparing like with like. I had already selected legal protection, and I had signed up for high excesses.
- I gave my existing company the chance to reduce their premium. Very helpful, but they could only bring it down to about £230, so no thanks…
A few things come to mind
- Why did I not check it last year? It was probably high last year. I was in Barcelona from 16 March to 30 April, the policy auto-renewed, so I would have had to pay a £36 cancellation charge. I should have done it earlier because I know perfectly well my insurance is due in early April, but I was busy getting ready for being away! So it probably cost me £50 last year.
- My insurance company could reduce the premium to £230 when I pushed them, knowing that I had a better offer in hand. A saving of nearly 25%. Most years, I have in the past rung and challenged them and got them to reduce the price. It’s frustrating because in effect being a long term customer works against you. Yet the company gets a double bang for the buck because he knows he has a good customer who doesn’t claim. Very frustrating!
So my story today, was that even the one call taking 3 minutes would have saved me £70. The extra 10-15 minutes online netted me £100. Better in my pocket!
So Don’t be lazy. Make that call! You know it makes sense.
Update: Please see weenie at QuietlySaving‘s comment below – I should have taken out the insurance through either Topcashback (a further potential saving of £36.75) or Quidco (saving another £35). What a good idea
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