Thursday, 26 September 2013

Shopping Around

You may well compare prices when purchasing goods in the shops, getting to know where the best offers are and stocking up on them when you can.

However, many consumers aren’t as good at shopping around when it comes to buying services such as insurance or roadside assistance cover. Because of this many of us may be paying far more than we need to obtain these services, falling into the trap of automatically renewing cover, however much it may have risen in price, rather than comparing a quote with what else may be available.

Our AA cover recently came up for renewal, but my husband positively balked at the price, which had risen to £129, despite being loyal customers of some 10 years standing. He decided that the time had come to look at other roadside assistance providers.

Hubby duly got to work online, not using price comparison websites you understand, that may in turn have their own agenda, but visiting the sites of individual companies. He discovered that if he bought AA cover online as a new customer it would cost £79; he could get cover from Green Flag for £64 per year and cover from the RAC as a Tesco Clubcard holder for £55 per year.

Armed with this useful information, he promptly rang the AA to reveal his findings. A very charming adviser listened carefully, apparently did a few calculations (probably referring to a crib sheet telling him what to do in this situation, i.e. match price, adding a few pence so it didn’t seem too obvious) and promptly declared that full relay cover could, on reflection, be provided for the reasonable sum of £55.80!

Delighted with the new price, hubby renewed the AA cover, but the point is, if he’d just paid the requested amount on receipt of the quote, he would have been £73.20 poorer, whilst the AA would have offered identical cover for more gain.

So a word from the wise, never automatically renew any insurance, roadside assistance or similar policy or service, without first checking directly with other companies offering the same thing, as to what price they will charge.

Be sure to shop around!

Follow me on Twitter @shoppersjoy

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