/ Money

Do you know what you paid for your insurance last year?

insurance renewals graphic

We’re calling on insurance companies to show last year’s premium alongside renewal quotes to help people save money. Have you been inspired to look for a better deal when your insurance is up for renewal?

With your help, we’re calling on insurance companies to provide last year’s premium alongside the renewal quote and explain any differences.

We also want insurers to provide customers with their number of years of no-claims-bonuses and make sure renewal letters are received by the customer at least three weeks before the insurance is due to renew.

Printing last year’s premium

This comes as new Which? research shows that 85% of people support having their previous premium on their renewal quote and 62% find it annoying that it is not included.

Clearer information would empower you to more easily compare quotes and could help you save money. Two-thirds (68%) say having last year’s premium would prompt them to look for a better deal with other insurers.

And our major new car insurance renewal investigation has once again highlighted that you might get a poor deal if you trust your insurer to continue giving you a competitive deal into the second and third year of your policy.

Haggling policyholders

Car insurance policyholders who haggled and switched providers on their car insurance managed to save an average of £131 on their renewal offer. While those who did nothing paid just £4 less (due to the company itself applying a small discount between renewal offer and payment).

Those who switched providers saved £105 on average. People who were happy to stay with their current insurer, but took the time to question the renewal rate, saved £38 on average.

What’s been your experience of trying to get a good deal on your renewal from insurance companies? Would providing last year’s premium on your renewal docs help you to find a better deal?


Thanks for explaining why printing last year’s premium on renewal quotes would be such a burden for insurance companies. Having read the preamble to this Conversation I thought that was the crux of this issue because, according to Which?’s research, “85% of people support having their previous premium on their renewal quote and 62% find it annoying that it is not included”.

Personally I don’t object to discounting new customer’s premiums; that is competitive marketing. It’s how it’s concealed on first renewal that is the problem.

As for the rules on timely provision of renewal invitations, I have today received a renewal notice for our travel insurance that expires in 16 calendar days. That was from John Lewis Insurance. As it happens I was already alert to the renewal, knew last year’s premium, and started a comparison exercise. I am in the process of changing insurer and saving nearly £40 on last year’s JLI premium and almost £300 on JLI’s renewal quote; that might have shot up because one of us has turned seventy but other insurers provide cover up to age 74 with no increase in premium.

Charlie C says:
27 June 2014

Hi – I am coming to this conversation a bit late, but my home insurance renewals have just come in and I was just thinking how it would be useful to have last year’s premium printed on the renewal notice .. and then saw this!

I would support printing last year’s premium and in fact think it is scandalous to see the increases just hidden like this. Mine were set 20% higher this year, with no changes on my side and no claims. What’s more, when i called them, they just said that’s the price the computer says… they could give no explanations.

(I also object to the fact that I have to pay to sit on their phone lines to enquire about this.)

I would prefer to stick with the same insurer rather than search each year – I do not have the time. But how can they expect loyalty if they don’t treat loyal customers fairly?

@Charlie, As of the 13th June 2014 courtesy of the Consumer Rights Directive, most companies should have stopped using expensive phone lines for you to call them on, sadly many haven’t updated websites, literature, etc yet.

Sorry but insurance companies aren’t covered by that act. We’re sill waiting on the FCA to do something similar for banks / insurance companies. Some of which have changed numbers so it may be worth checking if your insurance company has a new number but not communicated it

Charlie C says:
27 June 2014

Thanks William – that’s interesting to know! Santander (or their underwriter’s broker – which is who I get put through to!) still charge.

Is there a definition of “expensive”? Or should they be free?

The idea is that calls should cost no more than a normal 01 , 02 number. Many companies are moving 03 numbers which should be charged at the same rate.

Liza Jane says:
27 June 2014

It’s Liza Jane again (posted 17th June). Energised by the comments I finally got around to checking last year’s premium, all ready to keep up the pressure by ringing up and complaining. But it turned out to be an increase of less than five pounds! A pretty modest sum to cover various increased cover benefits this year.

Nevertheless I still think that last year’s premium in any insurance renewal would be helpful and good practice. So OK, John Lewis insurance seems to be one of the “goodies” at the moment and I’m impressed. But they could have impressed me immediately and openly in this case. And it could change in year three when I’m ‘off my guard’ – I only switched to them last year.

Brian says:
20 August 2014

Having just gone through a buildings & contents renewal with LV I don’t see what printing last year’s premium will do. My renewal was less than last year’s premium but 30% more than a new quote obtained on-line. As a loyal customer of LV I would expect them to reward the years I’ve been a customer and the five different policies I have with a discount not a surcharge. Better to push them print on the renewal that the customer should go on-line and get a new quote! In fact if renewals were banned we’d all get the best price.

As to why the renewal was higher than the on-line quote LV told me that it was because when I entered the data for the on-line quote I ‘was doing all of the work’ and when they issued a renewal they had the cost of sending out the documents and an underwriter had to check the risk of my post code. I can’t believe that the agent actually believed what she was telling me.

After reading some of the above e mails i feel i should relate my very recent dealings with a well known insurer Sheilas wheels after i received a renewal letter asking me to renew with the company and to be fair it was a resonable quote 281.and a few pence as i was away on a trip through europe ferry/train ect the renewal letter came whilst i was away (i was away several weeks) I arrived home on the sunday night and opened all mail on seeing the renewal letter i realised it was due that very day Sunday putting it on the side i rang the next day to pay the £281 renewal fee only to be told that as i hadnt renewed the previous day (not yet 24 hours ) the amount i now had to pay if i paid in full would be 584.88 !!!! As it had risen slightly since yesterday no amount of reasoning on my part made any difference there was no one higher i could talk to? Sorry but thats the price i am obviously shocked at this increase of 584 pounds in less than 24 hours On speaking to several different companys some said they practised this policy and others said they would have honoured the original quote although they all stated that it was indeed an excessive quote i personally have never experienced this although i shouldnt be suprised at anthing these big companys come up with I place this purely to make others aware in case it sould catch them out for any reason. Holidays/ family crisis ect