By Gareth Vaughan
People should shop around for insurance deals that suit them best and consider splitting their insurance needs between more than one insurer, says AA Insurance CEO Chris Curtin.
Curtin told interest.co.nz in a Double Shot interview that, although it might sound counter intuitive for someone in his position to be saying this, it makes sense for consumers to shop around.
"From my perspective consumers need to create some competitive pressure on prices by shopping around," said Curtin.
"It doesn't matter if you're in the market to buy a fridge or a washing machine (or) insurance. (For) any goods or service people should shop around. There's nothing better than a competitive insurance market so consumers do have a part to play."
He said it "astounds" him that, at a time when customers' face record high insurance premiums, only one in eight people actually switch provider when their policy is up for renewal.
"I think that's extraordinary," Curtin said.
However, he argues people shouldn't choose insurance policies based on price alone.
"That's simply not the thing that people should do. What they should be looking for is the cover that suits their needs, and making sure that the insurer they're dealing with is financially strong. But at the end of the day when those things stack up and they (insurers) are very similar, then people should shop around for the best deal for themselves."
"And that might mean, for example, splitting your insurances up. I know nowadays people want to put all of their insurances together. But that's not necessarily the best outcome for individual customers," said Curtin.
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