MARTIN Lewis warns motorists and homeowners to check the offers now – even if their policies do not need to be renewed.
This is because a number of changes to insurance rules that will come into effect from January 1st could put people in a worse position.
Traditionally, people who stayed with insurers for a long time saw price increases that meant they were paying way too much.
In the meantime, new customers were able to take advantage of significantly cheaper offers that tempted them to switch providers.
The new rules aim to eliminate these loyalty penalties, which means that new insurers can no longer offer new customers better deals than existing ones.
While that may seem like good news, the reality is that it likely means higher prices for people switching, Martin warned in his weekly MoneySavingExpert tips email.
The finance guru said, “I suspect companies aren’t just cutting renewals to match newbie’s prices. They will lower them a little and increase the new customer rates – by the middle.
“With the new regime officially kicking off in January, insurers will likely start changing their pricing algorithms sooner, so the clock is ticking and the cheapest prices may disappear within weeks or months.”
He advises that home and auto insurance customers shop now to get the best deals before they disappear.
You should be able to cancel your insurance even if you have medium coverage and are getting a pro-rated refund.
An administration fee may apply for this. So you need to make sure that this is less than what you save by switching. Usually these are less than € 50.
Martin added, “Even if you can’t save now but can match your current price, it may be worth doing if prices go up. However, this is a much shakier area as it requires some crystal balls. So I’ll leave it to you. ”
The first thing to do is find the best deal for you.
Comparison sites like Go Compare, Compare the Market, Uswitch, and MoneySupermarket are good places to start.
It’s usually worth using more than one as different comparison sites have different offers.
Some insurers, most popularly Direct Line, don’t use these comparison sites, so it’s worth looking for deals directly on their websites.
Remember, you don’t necessarily want the cheapest policies you can find. You need to carefully consider factors such as the deductible and limits to find an insurance that suits you.
When you find the best guideline, switch over to it. Alternatively, if you like your current provider, you can show them the guideline you found and see if they match it.
There’s no guarantee, but haggling is a great way to cut costs, and if your insurer doesn’t offer you a deal, you can always switch.
When you switch, check out Quidco and TopCashback to see if you can earn cashback too.
There are a few tricks you can use to further reduce car insurance costs. For example, research by Compare The Market found that policies are £ 319 cheaper if drivers switch three weeks before their renewal date, compared to the day a policy ends.