A lot of people are silly. Instead of getting multiple quotes from multiple insurance companies, they suck it up and accept their renewal quote, even if it is higher than what it was the year before. Maybe it’s just ignorance or laziness, or maybe it’s just some false sense of loyalty that they’ve acquired for their current providers – but they do it. They suck it up and they pay the renewal fee, all the while other motorists are actively lowering their premiums.
In this day in age, laziness isn’t much of an excuse. We’re not back in the old days, where you had to spend the better part of your day ringing up multiple insurance companies. After about half an hour, you’d be sick to death of being put on hold and from being passed on from one department to the next. Nowadays, most companies will have some sort of online form that will allow you to instantly generate a quote. It can take about two or three minutes to fill one out, depending on the site.
Beware of “compare / best quote” websites!
These can save you a lot of time, but they might not necessarily save you money. The likelihood is: Somebody, somewhere has set this website up with a financial incentive in mind. i.e. They are probably not doing it out of the goodness of their own heart. Are they getting a cut out of the sale? Is that cut coming out of your end or the insurance company’s end? Is the site acting as some sort of go-between between you and a specific insurance company? Is it just another front for that company? These are the questions that you need to ask yourself before you blindly accept a quote from a comparison website. To keep your options open, you should manually visit the website of each individual company, just to see what they can offer you directly (in some cases, I’ve seen a drop in price of up to €70). This shouldn’t take too long, seeing as there are only a certain number of car insurance companies in Ireland.
Example: A lot of Irish people seem to be under the false impression that 123.ie is some sort of “best quote” website, when in reality, it is owned by RSA Insurance. i.e. You’re getting not getting the best quote, you’re just getting the best quote that RSA have on offer.
Your current insurance company doesn’t care about you – they just want your money. I’m sorry, but it’s true. You’re just a statistic to them. A number on their balance sheet. As soon as you become a hindrance (or fall into a “statistical group” that they consider to be a hindrance), they’ll push your renewal fee up and give you the middle finger. So get it through your head – You owe them absolutely nothing.
Instead of just bowing down and accepting the renewal quote that they send you, you should be pro-actively seeking out quotes from other companies (as opposed to re-actively seeking out competitors whenever your current providers decide to try and stiff you). That way, you can actually see if you’re getting a fair deal or not. That way, you’re always keeping your options open (in a way, it is kind of like keeping your eye on the job market, even though you’re gainfully employed).
You see, a lot of car insurance companies will rope you in with the first quote, simply because they want to get you on board. It’ll probably be cheap and you’ll probably think that you’ve finally found a moral / fair provider. However, the next year, when the time for renewal comes around, their offer might not look so enticing. In fact, it might even go up, or just stagnate for a couple of years, hovering in and around the same figure. Unfortunately, there are a lot of people in Ireland who will just “go with the flow” and accept this. Some might not even bother to get a quote from another company! They’ll just take out their credit card or their debit card and pay the fee.
A final note
Don’t be so hard on the people who blindly accept their renewal fee. Because of people like them, the rest of us can continue to float from one company to the next, getting cheaper quotes each year.