Insurance: It is worth checking those bills closely
23rd Mar 10, 11:18am
By John Grant When premium reminders come in the mail it's very easy to just pay them, and file them away without close scruitiny. This practice is undoubtadly a behaviour that is costing some people a lot of money. With friends and collegues knowing my work, I frequently get asked to have a look at someone's insurance bill and give an opinion on the cover and the premium they are being asked to pay. And I often see examples of opportunites to save money - it raises the question of just how much is being paid unneccessarily. The most common failing is over insured cars on non agreed-value policies. Some companies will not automatically adjust the sum insured at renewal as the onus is on the insured to do this. It is not an issue for them as the car value is determined only if a loss occurs. Then they are only required to pay the current value or the sum insured, whichever is the lower. Therefore an insured value that is higher than the actual value attracts more premium without increasing the exposure. It's worth doing some checks on the value. Trademe offers a good way to ascertain current market value by looking at recent sales of the same year and model. Another alternative is do a quote with one of the companies that has on-line facilities and who offer agreed-value policies, and see what value they offer on the car. At the same time it will provide a pricing comparison as well. As an illustration, I recently looked at one that showed a sum insured of $35,000 when the car was worth closer to $22,000. The reduction in premium for this change amounted to nearly $200. A quick way of reviewing pricing and coverage is to check our on-line scenario comparisons. This will give a good guide as to the price and coverage competiveness. Changing insurers these days is relatively straightforward and several now have on-line facilties for doing this. Just be aware that multiple policy discounts can make a difference and it's worth taking these into account.