Cut home insurance costs – in minutes

I’m worth £600 an hour

man with coins smlMy time became worth £597.84 per hour this week when I challenged the price that my home insurer was planning to charge for my contents and buildings insurance.
The policy is due for renewal at the end of August. It would be renewed automatically (auto renewal). It’s not a bad thing to set up, just in case, say,  you were away on holiday and forgot to get the policy renewed before departing, or had a family emergency and were distracted. Auto renewal means you are never without cover.

Don’t wait for your insurer

But you should always check the documents (and figures). Ideally put a reminder in your diary for at least four weeks before your renewal date. Some insurers have a habit of sending out documentation when it’s too late for you to shop around.
This year the policy was going to cost £367.82 – an increase of £46.64 or 14.5%. But I had read only last week that home insurance premiums have fallen over the last year, according to Consumer Intelligence. This was because of a reduction in burglaries and fewer flood and storm damage claims.
So I rang my insurance company and asked why my premium was increasing by so much when I had not made a claim and lived in sleepy Sussex?

Handling the call

iStock_000002773290MediumThe very pleasant call centre employee, who answered instantly, said he would check out if he had any “leeway” on the price and asked if I wanted to increase the excess – the amount that I would pay if making a claim. I declined to increase it to £500.

But he still came back and said he could reduce the premium to £318.

The whole conversation took less than five minutes and saved me £49.82 – an hourly rate of £597.84.
And had I not been satisfied with the new premium I would have gone to a few comparison websites to see if other companies could improve on the price. I still had 10 days until the renewal date.

And it works for car insurance too

Back in June my Money Fight Club co-founder Anne Caborn posted a piece on Facebook about her car insurance. Her renewal came in and was £7 more than last year. A 2 minute phone call later and the cost came down to £17 LESS than the previous year. (That values her time at £510 an hour – but it would be picky for me to point out to her that I’m apparently worth more an  hour. No reason why I can mention it to you though.)

Sooo… what are you worth?

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