News & Views

It’s time to look at all your insurance and mortgage plans and save money

19th March 2019

Not so long ago, changing insurance provider was a time-consuming and complex process, so most of us just stayed put while the providers increased their premiums year on year.

That is not the case today. Price comparison websites, increased competition, legislation and technology have all made the switching process much easier. There is therefore the potential to save a significant amount of money.

Despite this, many people have not taken advantage of the savings that are there to be had. In October 2018, Which published a report stating 25% of people with mortgages were paying significantly over the odds for their plan.

Alison Mitchell, Mortgage Advisor with RobMac, says “There are so many new products out there that it can be confusing for customers and so doing nothing is often the path of least resistance. In addition, most lenders only offer a limited range of mortgage products, so customers aren’t necessarily being presented with the best alternatives. Our advice is to speak to an independent mortgage adviser who can see the products available from the eighty-five mortgage lenders in the UK. I can almost guarantee that I’ll be able to find an equivalent mortgage at a lower cost which will save hundreds, if not thousands of pounds a year.”

Similarly, people tend to stick with their house and building insurance provider rather than shopping around.  This is a competitive market and so all the insurers are keen for new business and will work very hard at offering attractive premiums. Two words of warning however; firstly make sure that you are comparing like with like if switching e.g. the excess on any claim is the same; secondly check that the premium doesn’t increase dramatically when it’s time to renew. If so, you may want to switch again as the focus for most insurance and financial companies is on new business and not existing customers.

The same applies to car, pet and travel insurance too.  A useful starting point is to go to one of the price comparison websites who will do the research for you based on your requirements.  Even the price comparison marketplace is competitive with many of them offering attractive incentives just to go through their website e.g. 2 for 1 cinema tickets, cuddly toys etc. As before however, make sure you are comparing like with like and watch out for the premium hike in year two.

Legislation has also come to the aid of the consumer with Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), Ofcom (the UK’s broadcasting, telecommunications and postal industries regulator) and Ofgen (the UK’s electricity and gas regulator) all making switching as quick and simple as possible.

In the case of energy, companies like uSwitch will compare what a customer is paying for their gas and electricity, based on their current usage, and offer alternative suppliers. If the customer decides to switch, then all they have to do is provide the new supplier with their bank details and uSwitch does the rest for them.

The same applies to switching broadband and mobile providers and to banks as well.

RobMac’s advice therefor is to take a good close look at all your insurance costs and see what savings could be made by switching providers. We think you’ll be surprised. If you would like to speak to Alison Mitchell about your mortgage then please follow the link to arrange a meeting