Don't just renew

The chances are that everyone who reads my blog is far too clever to be taken in by insurance renewal premium hikes, but just in case, an incentivising tale from my own experience.

My building and contents insurance is coming up for renewal. Last year, my current insurer, Nationwide, had come up with quite an attractive quote of £268. (This is for fairly generous cover, business at home and no voluntary excess.) This year, the quote for renewal rolled in at a stonking £362 - pretty much £100 more.

For a while my bank (Lloyds) had been pestering me to allow them to give me a quote - and when they did I was surprised, so I rang Nationwide to see how they'd feel about matching it and got another surprise.
'I've got a better quote,' I said.
'Tough,' said Nationwide, 'we don't change our renewal quotes.'
Now, to be honest, this seemed to demonstrate that Nationwide shouldn't be in the insurance business, because they weren't prepared to move at all, which isn't how you do business.

So, not surprisingly, I have gone with my bank.

Now you might be thinking 'Well, £362 - that's only £30 a month. I spend more than that on coffees. I couldn't be bothered to spend hours and hours making comparisons and getting a better price. It wouldn't be worth the time.'

Well, let's see just how much the time was worth. Usually I would try two or three insurers and possibly a comparison site, but I'll be honest I was so shocked by the Lloyds quote I didn't bother, so I only spent around 20 minutes max. Probably a bit less. How much did I save? The Lloyds quote was £190... and there was also a £50 cashback. So the final figure was £140. I saved £220 for my 20 minutes effort. That's £11 a minute. Or, if you prefer, £660 an hour. I don't know what your hourly rate is, but that seemed a pretty good investment of time to me.

Of course, the Lloyds rate will probably shoot up next year. But then, we know what to do, don't we?