Thursday, June 16, 2011

Utility Bills And Car Insurance

I had a very fruitful day yesterday shaving money off our direct debits. Every now and then I hear a money adviser on the radio urging us not to automatically renew insurance when it's due. Likewise, their advice is to shop around the utility providers to see if you can get a better deal. So I did. I went on a comparison website and hey presto, big savings.

First the van insurance. My insurance expires on July 7th and it had gone up quite horrendously. So I went on t'interweb and got a quote that was as near as makes no odds to £200 off my current insurer's quote. So I phoned my current insurer, Direct Line, to tell them I wouldn't be renewing. Bingo! They were able to reassess my quote and beat the new one, so I'm sticking with them, they were very good when I had a mishap a couple of years ago. Also, it saves the mither of sertting up new direct debits etc.

Boosted by that result I thought I'd try looking at the utilities. I was a tad nervous here because the best deal I could get was a saving of £8 per month, but that was going to Scottish Power. We left them a couple of years ago after they sent us a bill for £2000. Yes £2000 for one quarter. We argued and they eventually realised that a couple of years earlier we had had our old imperial meter replaced by a metric one. After several heated phone calls they actually owed us money as they'd read the metric readings as imperial readings. Pillocks!

So rather than risk Scottish Power again I went back to npower and told them that I had such a good offer from elsewhere could they look at my tariff and see if there was a better one with them. Bingo again! They came back with more than double the amount I would have saved with Scottish power. I shaved £20 a month of our gas and electric charges.

I may recharge my batteries today, then turn my attention to Mrs B's car insurance and our house insurance tomorrow. Let's face it, when you're paying 80p for a pepper at the supermarket you have to look for savings wherever you can.


Steve Allison said...

I did the same exercise yesterday, also with Direct Line. They admitted to me on the phone that a 40% reduction to anyone who queried their renewal quote was fairly standard. I moved to More-Than who were actually £12 more expensive than Direct Line (after Direct line reduced my quote by over £200) but I just felt like I couldn't stay with Direct Line after they admitted trying to take me for a mug!

Gregg said...

Yes, I was given bullshit for the sudden £200 reduction about doing less mileage than anticipated and a discount they hadn't given because our household insurance was with them too. You did the right thing going Steve, I just couldn't be arsed.

John Bo said...

Steve, don't all insurance companies do that, take everyone for mugs?!