Monday, 26 July 2010

With just a fewwwwwwwww clicks, you'll ... not save anything at all, actually

image: Daily Mail




I'm a bit deflated.


I just got my new home insurance quote, from the company I work for. Now, it's not gone up, but neither has it decreased. But I know how these things work, because I used to work for the retentions (cancellations) department of the same company. So, I'll let you into the Beetwaste method of getting cheaper insurance.


Firstly, go onto 'Confused.com' or some similar website - I'd deliberately avoid the annoying, singing Italian-style idiot, because it winds me up. You get a list of prices, make sure the new quotes are covering you for the same things (essential - how much are you covered for? Specified items? Excess? If it's not the same, be aware of the differences) and it is imperative that you look shocked at how much money you could save (as they do in the adverts).


Now, here's the clever bit. You don't set up the new, cheaper policy. Oooh no. You ring your current insurer, tell them how much cheaper everyone else is, and can they do anything about it. A word of advice, by the way. If you are nice to the telephonist, it will pay dividends. Believe me, I was always more inclined to help the caller who asked politely, than the idiot who rang up claiming that I, personally, was responsible for ripping them off for the previous 10/15/20 years (delete as applicable) and even though we'd written to them every year advising them to call if they were unhappy with the price, it's all my fault that they couldn't be arsed to do so.


Here's an example of what to say;


"Hi, I've been looking around on 'Go-compare-the-confused-money-super-meerkat.com.uk' and discovered there are several companies offering me cheaper quotes. Can I review my cover with you to see if you can match/beat these other prices?"


This is why you need to be clued-up on what you are covered for, because the telephonist will now explain why their price is actually better value, despite being more expensive. However, they may well suggest ways to make it cheaper, such as removing unnecessary elements of your cover that the very-same-company's sales team persuaded you was essential only a year earlier. At this point, incidentally, if you've asked three times and they say they can't reduce the price, they mean it. Not everyone is entitled to a discount, and if there's one available you'll get it.


If all goes well, your current company will reduce your price and everything will be hunky-dorey. If not, well you've still got the other prices to fall back on - make sure before you cancel anything that the comparison site you picked gives an accurate price. Not all of them do, you'll have to ring them up for that.


So anyway, it's time for me to do the same. I got some prices, ready to ring up and discuss. Wound myself up to do it and everything.


Guess what?


My new quote was already 20 quid cheaper than the cheapest price online. So I couldn't ring up and barter.


Bummer.