Challenge your automoatic insurance renewal quotes - you could save a fortune

Anyone who reads this column regularly will know I dislike insurance companies with a passion.

Whenever a car or home insurance renewal quote drops through the letter box I go into battle mode. And after my recent experiences I would advise everyone else to do the same.

Let me explain.

Another year of almost trouble-free motoring had passed (if you ignore the £30 I was charged for making an administrative change on one policy and huge fees for cancelling another when the car it related to was scrapped).

The insurer’s automatic renewal quote duly arrived and was temporarily “filed” in an ever-growing pile of “to do” papers.

I guess there are many people out there who just accept their renewal price for the sake of convenience.

After all, shopping around for a better deal is as much fun as watching paint dry. And I can’t help thinking insurance companies rely on that inertia to make a quick profit.

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As deadline day approached I decided to take action and browsed a few internet comparison sites to see what else was on offer. Imagine my surprise when the best quote turned out to be from the company I was already with, but a full £72 cheaper than the renewal price they had sent me through the post.

I pulled on my flak jacket, picked up the telephone and asked them to explain this strange discrepancy.

“Oh,” said the girl on the end of the phone, “that will be because the renewal comes from the underwriter you’re currently insured with but a price comparison site searches all the underwriters available.”

“That’s strange,” I countered, “because the underwriter on my postal renewal is the same as the underwriter on the online quote.”

She sounded momentarily flustered but quickly regained her composure.

“You don’t need to worry because we’ll honour the online quote,” she said.

No heavy weapons needed this time, then, but I can’t help feeling indignant for all those people who don’t challenge their automatic renewal quote. They shouldn’t be penalised for unquestioning loyalty.

Email Sheena Grant or tweet using #ThriftyLiving.

For more money saving tips, visit Sheena’s page