Car insurance premiums are up an average of 30 per cent on last year. They went up the year before too. The lobby group Insurance Ireland said that customers with comprehensive policies can expect to see increases of around €300.
And with this week’s Court of Appeal ruling saying that Motor Insurers’ Bureau has to cover the €90m cost for the collapse of Setanta Insurance, we can expect even more increases. At least €50 more on every car insurance policy seems likely.
If you have, is there anything you can do?
There certainly is! You can exercise your right as a consumer and shop around. In fact, car insurance is the product that is most likely to be switched in Ireland – with 25% of customers shopping around and switching each year.
At bonkers.ie, we don’t compare car insurance…yet! But we do know a thing or two about shopping around. So here’s our tried and tested method to ensure that you’re not paying too much for car insurance.
If you're like most people, the renewal letter comes in the post, is opened and glanced at. You probably tut-tut at the price and promise that you'll try and find a better insurance rate. Rather than doing what most people do - ignore it until the day before renewal - or ignore it altogether and let them auto renew you, why not immediately win the upper hand by getting 3 other quotes? There are brokers with websites that you can start from if you don't want to talk to actual humans at insurance companies first. It shouldn’t take much more than 30 minutes to get 3 quotes.
Contact your existing insurer. Tell them you're surprised that the premium is as high as it is (even if you're not). Ask how much it was last year, and if it’s gone up, ask why. This will tell them that you are serious about paying them as little as possible. Tell them you have 3 other quotes and theirs will need to improve. Your premium is much more flexible than you may think and to keep you as a customer, they may reduce it on the spot. Ask them if this is their best and final rate - you might squeeze another few euro out of them. You should now have your best renewal rate.
Revisit the 3 quotes you have, call the three insurance companies and tell them your best renewal rate. Some companies have a "match best renewal" offer on like-for-like policies. If your best renewal policy has the same benefits as theirs, they may beat it to win your business. See if the other companies will do the same, and remember you're in the driving seat - but if you don't drive you won't get anywhere!
Make your selection, pick your insurer and tell them the good news - you've just given someone commission so they will be happy. Get your cover started with a new insurer or renewed with your existing one, but hopefully at a price that’s lower than your original renewal!
By using this approach, you should certainly save a few quid... well unless you crash a lot or you've just bought yourself a mid-life crisis car! All it takes is a bit of time online and a few phone calls - which you won't have to make again for another year.
And for an extra few bob in your pocket instead of theirs, it’s not that much trouble really, is it?
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