Can you find insurance for less in 2014? House insurance, car insurance, health insurance, pet insurance...
The recession still bites. And guess what? Insurances still need renewing in 2014.
But can we find insurances more cheaply?
Are 'money supermarkets really the best way to find an insurance policy that costs you less? And are the insurance companies gonna wriggle out of paying out when the time comes?
Our simple advice: shop around when renewal is due
But don't forget to ask your present insurer if there is any loyalty discount for staying with them. It doesn't always work, but definitely worth asking!
As usual, make sure you know when your policy expires
Insurance companies will often auto-renew your policy on its annual anniversary. Aim to be getting comparison quotes one month in advance of this!
Know why. Really. Is it for legal purposes only? Or do you want quality cover that truly offers the best protection? Good cover is not always the cheapest!
Internet or high-street broker?
If you look ONLY on the internet for insurance renewal, you really aren't comparing the WHOLE market, are you?
Always remember the most recommended deals are based on who pays the most commission to the website. It's recommended that you verify any insurance quote quite separately to make sure its the best deal for you.
Word of mouth is still valid!
Ask your friends and family if they have an insurance they can recommend -- especially if they've had a claim on the policy.
Our top tips for comparing all types of insurance:
Yes, comparing insurance quotes and insurance renewal fees can be a non-trivial task. Make sure you compare like-for-like. It's no good to compare a quote, say, from insurer a that quotes you x when insurer b has four times the excess on the policy!
Which reminds me...
> What about the excess on the policy?
When you make a claim on any insurance, an 'excess' is levied (unless you have zero excess policy, though there may be exclusions even on this). An excess is typically some agreed sum that you have to pay towards the cost of the claim even though you are insured for the loss! If you are getting any kind of insurance for the first time, its important to consider this; for when you get insurance quotes, typically the cheaper ones will have HIGHER excesses to pay. For example: if you have house insurance, with an accidental damage policy, and you claim for a laptop you smashed, you will have to pay something towards it ('the excess').
> Its not just about price, its about coverage...
If you buy insurance purely on price, then you can expect a high excess (see above). But you can also expect certain limitations as to what exactly is covered. Generally, as the insurance cover becomes more comprehensive the price increases.
> Using an insurance broker as your specialist to find you the best deal:
Yes, of course you can use an agent to get you the best deal, as well as using the resources, such as this one, that are available to you online to compare insurance quotes. Make sure, however, that the agent or broker will find you an insurance that is suitable for you, and not suitable for him! What I mean here is that some brokers will only select insurance policies from some companies; the ones that pay the most commission – not necessarily the ones that provide the best deal for the policy holder (you). Some insurance agents work entirely on a commission-only basis. Some charge a fee. Can you afford the fee, or would you be better off taking advice from family and friends instead? Do they have an insurance company that they are really happy with? And most important of all – what is the service like when a claim is made? Those are the questions you should be asking.
> Using internet insurance comparison websites to compare insurance quotes.
Its valid, and very popular these days. You have online forms to fill in. Make sure you tell the truth when you complete the forms. This is very, very important. It's tempting to massage some of the information you disclose about yourself in order to get a cheaper deal (or at least to try!). Doing this, however, could invalidate your policy and result in any claim you make being rejected. Depending on your location, it may also be a crime. So be honest and exacting with the information you give when you apply for an insurance quote online, else it may well bite you later!