How much are you wasting on ‘auto-renewal laziness’? You could be surprised!
Okay. I admit it. This year I let my car insurance policy renew automatically.
It was the first time I’ve let it happen. Normally I put my details into a few price comparison sites and find the cheapest quotes for my needs.
Then I either go with the cheaper quote, or I use it to negotiate a better deal with my current (or another) insurance provider.
This year, though, I had other things on my mind. When the notice of the auto-renewal came through, I had a quick look for alternative quotes – and then got distracted before signing up for a new deal.
It’s not the end of the world. I’m paying about £3 extra per month. My premiums are low anyway – I drive a modest, 10-year-old car with a small engine; I have no points on my licence; and I have 9 years’ worth of no-claims bonuses.
I’m still kicking myself, though. If you don’t look for better deals for all your outgoings, you can quickly end up paying through the nose. I found out the hard way when I didn’t change my gas and electricity supplier for about 8 years. When I did, I found my annual payments had been hundreds of pounds over the odds.
It’s the small increases that do the damage…
I got thinking about auto-renewals when I read this article earlier today. It’s about someone who had a home insurance policy that cost £140.28 for the year. When it came to auto-renewal time, his provider advised him the following year’s premium would be an eye-watering £1621,42 – an increase of over 1,000%!
Of course, he didn’t auto-renew. No-one is going to accept that size of increase – but the fact remains that many of us are willing to auto-renew if the cost only goes up a few pounds per month.
That’s all fine and dandy. But when you add a few pounds to your car insurance, home insurance, broadband and phone service, utilities and so on – it can all add up to a pretty penny!
So, what can you do about it? One simple solution is to put a reminder in your diary or calendar that you’ll see a month before each renewal date. Discipline yourself to get new quotes that day – it only takes a short time to find plenty of options. You’ll thank yourself for it in the long run.
I’ve done it, and I’ve made a resolution not to succumb to ‘auto-renewal laziness’ again. My next job is to make a list of all the online subscriptions and recurring software licences I’ve got. Did I tell you I once spent two years paying for a statistics service that I used only once… I don’t want to make that kind of mistake again!
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About Ben Locker
Ben Locker is a copywriter who specialises in business-to-business marketing, writing about everything from software and accountancy to construction and power tools. He co-founded the Professional Copywriters’ Network, the UK’s association for commercial writers, and is named in Direct Marketing Association research as ‘one of the copywriters who copywriters rate’.