Are You Paying Too Much for Car Insurance? by Robin Trimingham
This is a question that a friend of mine was forced to ask herself this past week when her car insurance renewal notice conveniently appeared in her inbox. Along with a single page attachment which was simply an invoice showing the amount owing there was a three line email which provided a link to enable her to pay online with ease.
The attachment did not contain any details of her coverage other than the updated insured value of the vehicle and the fact that she was receiving a 65% no-claims discount in recognition of her good driving record. In fact, with a discount that big it did appear that it was a really good deal and she was tempted to go ahead and pay the bill, but something just didn’t seem quite right…
So instead of paying, she went hunting for last year’s insurance certificate in the glove box of her car. Guess what? After comparing the two quotes she discovered that the insurance company had depreciated the value of the car by about $1000 (fair enough) but they had also increased the cost of her coverage by over $100 dollars without a word of explanation (a 10% increase even though she had not made any claims or received a speeding ticket in over 15 years).
Needless to say, insurance is very expensive and sometimes prices do go up – but a 10% increase with no explanation? Not so fast.
With one three-minute phone call to the competition my friend received a quote for comprehensive coverage for the same vehicle that was $150 less than what her current insurance company was offering (and this quote included a significantly lower deductible if she did need to make a claim).
As you might imagine it did not take her long to decide what to do, and after reading all the terms of the new policy, she made a change and saved money without sacrificing coverage.
While there might be a few readers who are cringing at the thought of asking for a better price, keep in mind that there are certain service providers who might be counting on you being too busy, too uncomfortable or too blissfully unaware to ask for a better deal.
I am not suggesting that you throw caution to the wind but if a fee seems high, or actually is more than you can reasonably pay, there is absolutely no shame in asking if the quoted price actually is “the best price” available and you might be surprised how often a polite question generates savings.
Similarly, if your service provider will not (or cannot) negotiate, there is also no harm in doing a little research regarding what the competition has to offer before you accept the terms being offered. Just remember that if you are tempted to make a switch, you need to make sure that you ask lots of questions regarding the new terms being offered and how one policy or service compares to another to make sure that you are not unwittingly sacrificing quality, safety, or peace of mind simply to save money.
By Robin Trimingham