Saturday, 19 April 2014

Car insurance - it really is that simple.

Hitherto, I have let Her Indoors deal with this because she enjoys paperwork and I don't.

This year we got our renewal quote slightly earlier than normal, about three weeks before renewal time, but otherwise it was as expected, a couple of hundred quid more than when we started with them two or three years ago, so Mrs W dutifully wasted several hours on moneysupermarket and so on, but was not able to commit herself to going somewhere else and saving a couple of hundred quid.

Plenty of people have told me that all this changing-your-insurance-each-year is a mugs' game, all you need to do is ring your current insurer, tell them you've got a much cheaper quote elsewhere and then they drop their premiums to just above whatever you say the competitor's quote was.

Her Indoors told me if it's that simple, then why don't I sort it out?

Which I did. The lady in the call centre was as nice as pie, and clearly had a script prepared for the occasion. She assumed incorrectly that I was low-balling but correctly that I didn't like paperwork so would not bother insuring elsewhere if her quote was only a bit higher than the competitor's quote.

So she dutifully hummed and hah'ed and waffled something about "Let me see if I can get that down a bit for you."

The upshot was, she knocked off exactly £150 from the original quote to a price slightly above what she believed the competitor's quote to be, we shook hands (metaphorically) on the deal and that was the end of that, it took all of five minutes.


Anonymous said...

Tbh I usually change my car insurance [and my wife's] every year on Go Compare or Confused [via Quidco link -non profit, discount ala cash back site]. It takes seconds since they keep previous quotes [including house insurances] on record and I only usually need to change the renewal date with a quick edit and click 'requote'. This year my insurer sent my renewal quote which went up a bit to £310. I got my normal Go Compare quote which was only about £30 cheaper. Phoned my insurer, told them the renewal price and hey presto, the 'retentions' dept' came back with a quote for £237! Couldn't understand why they went in for such overkill.

A K Haart said...

My wife handles this too. She just switches to another outfit if the new premium is an obvious try-on. Doesn't seem to take her long.

However she hasn't had to do this for a few years as premium rises have been very small. It's as if we've been tagged as switchers, leading them to set new premiums accordingly.

Xopher said...

£360 renewal quote down to £96 for self, wife plus £16 more to add son using a selection of comparison sites. It's money - it's got to be done.

Mark Wadsworth said...

Paul, X, AKH, it appears that this is the way to go.

Now we've been tagged as "moaners", our next year's premium increase will be slightly smaller and I shall duly haggle a slightly larger reduction, until they just don't bother increasing it any more.

It was the "exactly £150" which got me. Had she come back with a pseudo-scientific £147.68 or £161.93, fair enough, but it was just a good old fashioned guess within the confines of the "script" which the lady at the call centre had in front of her. Maybe she was near the end of her shift or something and just couldn't be bothered any more.

okjoe58 said...

it's all a charade, in the words of a poetical m8 of mine, 'cud u b f****d abaht?'

Mark In Mayenne said...

Learning to negotiate delivers, in my view, one of the very best returns on the invested time.

Diesel said...

Doesn't always work. I got my renewal, which had doubled to £650. Went onto comparison site, and got quotes as low as £280. Went back to AA and told them, they could only reduce it by £30, down to £620, and would I like to renew at the new price? They told me that was the best they could do, so I went with someone else, which also had an excess of just £150, instead of the suddenly increased £650 from the AA.

Mark Wadsworth said...

OK, yes its' a charade. I don't know why they bother though.

MIM, yes.

D, sorry to hear that, but it seems to work for most people i.e. is always worth a try.

The Stigler said...

When you want a new phone at the end of your contract, always say you're considering leaving the company, rather than that you'd like a new phone. You'll be put through to retentions who can give you a better deal.