Saving on insurance can be a phone call away

It might be as simple as picking up the phone and asking.

Tips to save on insurance costs

First, it was the car insurance bill. I rang the insurer and in my nicest voice pondered whether there were any discounts that could be applied given I had never asked before – because I worked full time and that task never made it high enough on my to-do list.

I had a nice chat with the person on the end of the phone. She asked a series of questions, including how many kilometres the car was doing on average per year. This elicited the information that my husband was now self-employed and no longer drove to the city every day. Lo and behold, I saved about $100 on the bill with no loss of entitlements.

Not bad for a friendly 10-minute chat.

So earlier this month, the house and contents insurance bill arrived – hard on the heels of the gas, electricity, water and phone bills. Every year I mean to get this bill sent mid-year to ease the pain just before Christmas.

Again, I called the insurer and asked in my friendliest tone: “Is there any way to get this total down a bit?”

Lovely Emily replied: “The house is replacement value, but the value of the contents is increased every year in line with CPI – you may want to look at that.”

Me: “$150,000 – yes please reduce that. Three kids have moved out over the past five years and we have a lot less contents.”

Emily: “And your excess is $100 – you may want to increase that.”

Me: “Yes, please, $300 sounds good.”

The conversation continued until I had wiped $200 off the bill.

My advice to you?

  • Shop around to make sure your insurer is still the best option. There are some great websites so you can do this easily.
  • Always call your insurers. If your circumstances have changed, discuss whether that has any positive effect on your bills without having a negative effect on your cover.
  • Tailor your insurance according to what you need.
  • Check the policy details so you know exactly what is covered – and what’s not.

Do you have any tips on how to get the best value from your insurance bills?


    All content on the YourLifeChoices' website is of a general nature and has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. It has been prepared with due care, but no guarantees are provided for ongoing accuracy or relevance. Before making a decision based on this information, you should consider its appropriateness with regard to your circumstances. You should seek professional advice from a financial planner, lawyer or tax agent in relation to any aspects that affect your financial and legal circumstances. Financial comments provided by readers cannot be relied on as professional advice, but as general comments only.


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    27th Dec 2017
    $200 dollars of a yearly bill everyone can do better than that first DO not go with a insurance company unless they are the underwriter some of the ones flogging all types of insurance on TV are not the underwriters eg hollard are a underwriter and you should keep well away from them .the insurance companies are having a bad time .don't just ring up your insurance company but shop around and that goes for your power and gas companies as well
    27th Dec 2017
    Both of our car insurance premiums and also our house and contents insurance premium come in December.
    Every year I find that the premiums have increased by far more than the CPI. Mine went up by $618 in total this month. Insurance industry experts said that premiums should only have gone up by 4% on average, but my premiums have all gone up far more than this.
    As I always do, I ring up each insurer and negotiate them down. This year I was able to negotiate them down to a more reasonable $355 increase.
    I have found that in most cases, when you take out a new policy, they give you a very good deal, but they then jack up your premiums in the following years to offset these discounts. So what I do is get several online quotes from other insurance companies beforehand and then ring your insurer to price match. If they don’t, then switch insurers.
    27th Dec 2017
    Yes David, so true.

    I went to one of the compare sites last year, & found my insurer offering new customers the same insurance for $250 less than my renewal. I rang them, & they gave me the new customer price.

    This year amazingly they are actually stating on quotes at the compare site that this price is for new business only. They are admitting they will be ripping off existing customers, given the chance

    I have not rung them yet, but I will explain to them that my new policy is to always be a new customer for insurance, so I will go elsewhere for the coming year, & may come back as a new customer next year, for the new customer discount.

    If loyalty is a dirty word for them, it will be for me also.
    27th Dec 2017
    spot on David fully agree and the same for gas and electricity. and the ones that are flogging ads on TV all of the time you will be paying for their unscrupless advertising.
    27th Dec 2017
    My contents insurance was astronomical. In fact I really did deliberate actually cancelling it. If I am paying close to $1k per year with an excess then maybe its better to have a reserve in the bank and be my own insurance broker.
    I won't get treated like an guilty claimer next time I get robbed that way!

    27th Dec 2017
    Best advice for saving on insurance? Don't bother with it. It's a scam! When you need to claim, the insurance company will look for every excuse not to pay out.
    29th Dec 2017
    Which insurers have scammed you or someone you know, Knows-a-lot? Seems to me you don't know much at all. I've never had a claim refused and the only time an insurer ever looked for an excuse not to pay out was when I mistakenly agreed to claim on the at-fault driver's insurance after an accident. I should have taken the matter to court rather than accepting an offer from the other driver's insurer, because they ripped me off big time.

    All of my other claims have been on house or contents insurance and the insurer has been generous and caring. But then, they were genuine claims and I'd stuck with the same insurer for many years. In one instance, the insurer actually had a legal out, because the house was under contract of sale at the time of the disaster. The insurer paid anyway, stating that as I was a long-term client and I would clearly suffer loss if the contract fell through, they felt obliged to help me out. It wasn't a small claim either! And the repair job the did was well in excess of what most would expect.

    I was targeted by a scam insurer once, having been tempted to take out car insurance with a discount insurer. The insurer asked me to complete a claim form and pay an excess, claiming my car was involved in an accident. Knowing it was a fraudulent claim, I demanded to inspect the damaged vehicle and be given details of time, place, and what allegedly occurred. The insurer refused and told me to ''just sign the form and pay the excess and we'll take care of everything. That's what you pay insurance for - so you don't have to worry''. I continued to refuse and they threatened to take it to court. When I said ''Please do. I'll ask the court to order you to provide the information I've requested'' they finally yielded. I was able to prove I was not anywhere near the designated location at the time of the claimed event, and also that it was physically impossible for my car to have caused the claimed damage in the manner asserted. Back to paying a little more to a reputable insurer! It turned out the claimant had suffered damage when his wife ran into his car while backing out of the driveway, and he'd gone for a walk to find a car with a towbar and just picked ours at random, then paid his neighbour to lie about witnessing the event. The neighbour eventually came clean.
    27th Dec 2017
    Personally I don't bother about contents insurance, I only insure the home, in this day and age contents are cheaper and I have found apia is the cheapest for me.
    12th Jan 2018
    They do not have a good reputation for agreeing to and paying out claims even when they know they are genuine.
    29th Dec 2017
    I prefer to shop for insurance by reading the reviews as it is when you go to claim that you find out how good they really are! No good going for a cheap policy if the company is going to knock back a genuine claim because that's what they like to do &even after you fill out 11 or 12 page claim forms they will refuse to pay without you writing & explaining you ARE in fact covered & that you will write a scathing review on if they don't pay your genuine claim! (which I have had to do with travel insurance & guess what, the company paid me within an hour of me writing the review after spending hours & hours on claim forms, letters & phone calls but I was not letting them get away with ripping me off!) Hate all insurance companies, in case you can't guess this!

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