There was a time when I used to just renew my car insurance with the same company as soon as I received the renewal notice. Each time, I’d lament that insurance was getting more and more expensive. Sometimes, I paid by credit card, adding to the debt I had in those days. Other times, I paid in monthly instalments, ending up paying even more in total.
Then, I heard that people actually shopped around for the best/cheapest deal. Back in the days before the internet (which to young folks probably seem like the ‘Dark Ages’ haha), the only way to do this was to spend ages on the telephone, ringing up different companies and comparing notes afterwards.
Then along came the internet and comparison websites like CompareTheMarket.com
. These were very useful in saving you time by quickly comparing different companies and like-for-like quotes. However, what I dislike about comparison websites is that having filled in all your contact details, you are then bombarded with calls or emails to take on their policies.
These days, I just use a cashback website, namely TopCashBack*.
My car insurance expires at the end of the month and I received my renewal quote, which was £389. Surprisingly, it was cheaper than my previous year’s premium of £392, which I don’t think has happened before!
Although tempted to save time and just accept this quote, I decided to shop around as I normally do.
Logging into TopCashBack, I looked under ‘Car Insurance’ to see what cashback deals were on offer. There’s usually a big long list but I whittled it down to 4 different companies (cashback offered in brackets):
The Co-Operative (£57.75)
More Th>n (£38.85)
M & S Bank (£39.37)
In order for you to get cashback, you must purchase a valid policy via TopCashBack from start to finish – it does not work if you just log in and retrieve a quote (I found out the hard way!).
So, I logged onto each of the above companies’ websites (not via TopCashBack), obtained a quote and made a note of it:
The Co-Operative (£57.75) Quote – £543.84
More Th>n (£38.85) Quote – £369.10
M & S Bank (£39.37) Quote – £435.47
Allianz (£42) Quote – £343.22
As you can see, the clear winner was Allianz.
I logged back into TopCashback, found Allianz, purchased the policy and voilà, I saved £46 compared to my renewal quote and also got £42 cashback, so total savings – £88! Happy days!
If you pay by instalments, the insurance company will usually charge an APR of about 18%, so you pay more in total. That’s why I pay my insurance all in one go. As I don’t always readily have a few hundred spare in my current account and I don’t want to use my credit card, I use money from my emergency savings to pay the lump sum.
I then set up a standing order (in this case 6 x £57) to pay back into the emergency savings account, so in effect, I am paying the policy by instalments but I’m not being charged any interest for the privilege. And my emergency savings account stays topped up.
I shall be doing this same exercise when I come to renew my home insurance, travel insurance and landlord insurance.
*Note the above TopCashback link is my referral link and yes, ahem, my cashback name is ‘hellgirl’…don’t ask!