Haggling: you’re either good at it, or you’re not. But when it comes to car insurance, a little negotiation could go a long way. That’s according to market research agency Consumer Intelligence.
It found that while the average cost of an insurance premium rose by 13.5% over the past year, haggling with your existing provider at renewal time could result in a lower price. Indeed, one in five motorists are offered lower premiums by their existing insurer, who will match the best prices quoted elsewhere.
It’s never been easier to search for insurance cover. Gone are the days when you’d need to spend an entire morning on the telephone, armed with a copy of Yellow Pages, frantically searching for cover. Today, the price comparison websites do the majority of the legwork, leaving you to select the most appropriate deal.
All too often, we’re contacted by our existing provider with an offer substantially more than the price secured a year earlier. The rise in Insurance Premium Tax to 10% from October 1st doesn’t help, but it would appear there’s no reward for sticking with the same company. It’s particularly galling to see the provider on a price comparison site, with a lower price exclusively for new customers.
Be prepared to haggle
However, if Consumer Intelligence is to be believed, it pays to contact your insurer to see if they’ll match the prices offered elsewhere. With the average premium rising to £788, every penny counts. Ian Hughes, chief executive of Consumer Intelligence, said: “Haggling with insurers clearly pays, as drivers who make the effort to negotiate are finding.
“Insurers are generally receptive to renewal premiums being queried and will offer reductions to try and keep customers. It’s always cheaper to keep a customer than find a new one.
“When premiums are rising and other people are haggling successfully there really is no excuse for not haggling or shopping around.”
Data from Consumer Intelligence’s Car Insurance Index shows it’s younger drivers who are paying the highest bills, with under 25s paying an average of £1,831. The only ray of light is that the prices are rising slightly less than average. Young drivers can achieve a more affordable price by taking out a telematics-based policy.
The message is clear: learn some haggling tips from Bargain Hunt and you could save money on your car insurance. Release your inner David Dickinson for the real deal.