Are you clear about the true cost of your insurance premiums? With more insurers hiding extras like enormous excesses and hefty interest charges, it pays to be prudent.
The price you’re quoted never seems to be the price you pay when it comes to insurance these days.
When my car insurance policy came up for renewal recently, like most people, I headed to the comparison sites to find the best deal. The quote at the top of the pile looked very reasonable, but it was only when I drilled down that I discovered that the excess was enormous, and that there would be a hefty interest charge for paying by monthly instalments.
By the time I’d made these adjustments, I’d added an extra 30% onto the price, which no longer looked quite as attractive.
Worse still is the litany of charges that you could be hit with if – heaven forbid – you should ever need to inform your insurer of any changes to your policy. New research by the Which? Money team has revealed that some two-thirds of insurers now charge customers for making trivial changes to their details.
If you happen to be a customer of i-kube, for example, you’ll be hit with a fee of £55 for letting them know that you’re now married, or that you’ve moved house. And many other insurers have now started charging for renewing your policy – something that you’d think they’d be delighted to do for you for free.
The real issue here is that hidden charges prevent customers from getting the whole picture when they sign up to a policy. You might well think twice about opting for an insurer’s cheap premiums if you knew about their additional charges. Yet these are never declared at the point of sale. You only find out when it’s too late.
In my view, if insurers are to hit their customers with additional charges, they should at the very least be proportionate and transparent. Sadly, there’s a long way to go.