Do You Really Need to Shop Around to Reduce Your Car Insurance?
I don’t mind when the car insurance is due for renewal.
“What!? You enjoy paying bills, David?”
Nope. I dislike paying bills as much as anyone else.
But we drip feed into our Bills savings account each month.
So when the bills drop onto the doormat, we can pay them without having to worry how we’ll find the cash.
A couple of weeks ago, the car insurance renewal arrived.
And it had gone up by £50.72
Fifty quid increase in a year!
“I’m not paying THAT!” I shouted to Christine.
So I made myself a cup of tea to calm down (don’t worry, I made my wife a brew, too).
And then I rang up the guys at the insurance company HQ.
By the time we’d finished, we’d got the price lower than last year!
Yes, £7.52 less.
The Quick Way to Reduce Your Car Insurance Policy
Here’s how we did it:
I didn’t bother going to Compare-This-With-That dot com.
1. First of all, when I rang the Insurance Company’s Customer Helpline, I was friendly, pleasant and polite. That’s an important start. You need the insurance agent on your side. So be nice to them.
2. I expressed surprise that my policy had risen by more than £50, and asked if the agent could take a look to see if there was anything he could do to reduce it.
“Have you obtained any other quotes?” he asked.
I hadn’t, so I said so:
“No, I haven’t. I’m waiting to see if we can reduce this sufficiently before I start looking.”
He managed to find a £13.44 reduction immediately.
“Thank you,” I said. “Could you see if you can reduce it further?”
But he couldn’t. That’s as far as his permitted flexibility would allow.
But that’s worth remembering – he’s allowed to apply an immediate discount.
3. Next, we looked at some elements of the policy:
- I no longer drive as many miles – so we reduced the estimated annual mileage.
- The “guaranteed hire car” – for the same size and style of car if mine is off the road – was no longer necessary. So that was dropped. They’ll still give me a car in the event of an accident, but it might be a Fiat 500. I’m not too bothered about that.
We Got a Result
Eventually, my new friend announced that he’d managed to bring down the price by £58.24.
That’s cheaper than last year!
And it had all been done over a friendly chat on the phone.
I hadn’t wasted 2 hours comparing new insurance companies, entering all the details multiple times, setting up passwords, sharing all my personal data with yet more companies, trying to remember if I’d covered everything such as…
- NCB protection (is this one 8, 9 or 10 years of no-claims?)
- Legal cover (why are they all different?)
- Breakdown cover (is it the same level as I put down on the other quote?)
- Additional drivers’ details
Nope. I just asked a few questions whilst I slurped on my tea.
And I walked away happy and satisfied, knowing that my core policy hadn’t changed and my car was properly insured for another year.
Do you Really Need to Shop Around at Renewal?
From my experience, the answer is NO.
No, you don’t need to shop around to reduce your car insurance.
No, you don’t need to fill in multiple forms.
No, you don’t need to spend your Saturday afternoon in front of the computer.
But, if you don’t get the results you want in a friendly phone call…
You still have that option.
And remember, if you do, you can get large cashback payments if you buy via the likes of Quidco and TopCashback.
It’s still a competitive market out there.
What About You?
Do you try to reduce your insurance premiums each year?
What helpful tips can you share to make life easier?
Share them in the comments box below, and let’s keep the conversation going.
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Ringing up to haggle is an absolute minimum because, as you found out, they have some negotiation margin which you might as well have.
It is a very competitive market and so the best way to minimise the cost is using a comparison website. It is much easier than you suggest. I have obtained some huge savings this wayear making me realise why they are happy to placate a few happy tea drinking customers with a small discount.
Reducing mileage and job title are key ways to reduce cost. It is easier to do this online by selecting different options. With one company I thought I strangely found that it was cheaper to declare an annual mileage of 6000 miles than 5000! Also a change in job title can have a significant effect. They won’t tell you this no matter how polite you are on the phone.
Having found the best deal at Admiral and saved myself £hundreds I found out that Admiral also do a multi Car policy which reduced my premiums even further! Then I found out that if I promised to take out home and contents insurance with them they would reduce it even further! I didn’t actually need to take out the homemail and contents insurance at that point because it wasn’t due but they were happy to reduce my premiums on a promise.
It is all about ensnaring new customers. That is where the big savings are. But of course I will do the same again next year and not become one of those customers who only change providers once in a blue moon when they realise how much ‘loyalty’ costs!
Thanks, Peter. Some great additional ways to reduce the insurance premium even further. Very useful.
On the phone call, I asked the Agent about changing the 2nd driver’s job title to something very similar. But that would have actually increased the premium by £15 – so we didn’t bother changing it. But, as you say, it’s worth asking about – it could have gone the other way.
John Leese says
Thanks for that David… After being out of the U.K. for 37 years it’s taking us some time to find out how things work… In Luxembourg choice was limited, one water supplier, one electricity supplier, two of three mobile suppliers… Two of three insurance brokers… Not particularly cheap, but all very simple… Like it used to be in the UK….
Thanks John. Glad it’s useful.
I can imagine how you found things to have changed considerably after such a long time away from the UK.
The huge choices now available have made things much more difficult to plough a way through… but, on the other hand, the competition has made it possible for consumers to find a better deal.
Happy negotiating-with-the-insurance-company! 🙂