Twice a year so many of us get to do what I can only describe as the home and car insurance dance. It goes a little something like this..
Your insurance is up for renewal so you get a letter or email informing you of the new package that your insurance will rollover onto. It has a new policy document and summary included and it always, without fail, includes a price hike.
This hike could be a minimal amount for inflation but, more often than not, it’s actually a high percentage – nearly 50% on my last insurance renewal. This isn’t because you’ve made a claim, had a car accident or had a criminal conviction in the last twelve months – it’s because it’s the way the insurance world works.
So then you search for insurance elsewhere to see if the renewal is actually competitive. It never is and sites like Money Supermarket show clearly which insurance providers are cheapest whilst still covering all of your insurance related needs.
Then you contact your insurance provider and say that, actually, their price isn’t competitive, you’ve found it cheaper elsewhere and, as if by magic, they can offer you a lower price, at least what the other insurance company were offering or maybe even slightly lower.
So why don’t they just offer a decent renewal price in the first place? Well, I’ve started asking the insurance companies this and they always say something along the lines of insurance renewals are being produced a few weeks before the date they go live, that they’re not sure what the markets will do in that time and so they can’t give you a more specific quote.
Well, I’m not buying it – and I refuse to do this dance any longer. It’s a complete waste of my time – so I am taking a stand.
Insurance companies hike the renewal up in the hope that you’ll ignore it and just pay the price quoted – and I am sure there are a lot of people who do this. Busy people with little time on their hands, older people that trust insurance companies and also young people that are new to the world of insurance. People will just pay a renewal – it renews automatically, it’s an easy option.
And by auto-renewing a policy your premium is set to increase by a huge chunk every year. Can you imagine if you did nothing to challenge it for ten years….?
So now my insurance premium comes through, it’s always inflated, and I find another provider that can give me like for like or better cover for the best price possible. I use Quido to get cashback too and I find the best value policy – and I take it out.
I then contact my original insurance provider and I tell them I want to cancel the policy as it’s just too expensive this year. They apologise, ask me to stay, reduce the quote for me and pretty much beg me to keep my insurance – even slating my new provider to try and keep me.
But, it’s too little too late. If a company cannot give me a competitive quote in the first instance then I won’t stay with them – they don’t value me as a customer and they are happy to waste my time. So I’ll move to someone who does appreciate me – even if it’s just for a year before doing it all over again.
I know, it still takes time to change providers but it also saves money. I don’t want to use time getting the sort of renewal quote that they should have had the decency to give in the first place – I would rather use the time to find insurance elsewhere. So the dance has stopped for me.
But what about you? Do you let your insurance roll over without checking if it’s competitive? Do you ring your insurance provider every year and get them to reduce the renewal quote, sticking with them year on year? Or, like me, do you switch happily to another provider each year?