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“Check last year’s policy to avoid paying a premium”

27 February 2014

As peak car insurance renewal season approaches, comments on the Which? campaign calling on insurance companies to show last year’s premium alongside renewal quotes.

Which? recently surveyed 30 of the biggest UK insurers to find out whether they currently include the previous year’s premium on renewal reminder letters. Of those surveyed, only Swiftcover was found to do so.

Lee Griffin, chief operating officer at, commented:  “The first thing customers want to know when they get their car insurance renewal is how much their premium has changed compared to the previous year.  Sadly, it is the one piece of information they are unlikely to find on the renewal letter itself.  As a result, only 52% of drivers go to the effort of checking last year’s premium, and it is likely to be one of the reasons why nearly a third of drivers simply renew with the same insurer without shopping around.  And 46% of those who blindly renewed did so because they felt their insurer offered good value last year and so believed it would be the same this time around.

“I think most consumers would struggle to understand why insurers can’t tell you the amount you are currently paying them.  As a result, it is bound to lead to calls of a lack of transparency.  The truth is insurers rely on a certain degree of apathy from their customers and, worse still, around one in 10 drivers say they actually feel under pressure to renew with their existing insurer.

“It is important to remind consumers that they have a range of options at renewal but it all begins with understanding how your premium has changed, how the cover offered may have varied and how your own needs may have altered.  You can then use a comparison site to see what over 100 different insurance brands are prepared to offer you for the year ahead.”

New research by recently revealed that millions of motorists could be over-paying to the tune of £2 billion a year for their car insurance simply by allowing their insurer to automatically renew their policy.*


Notes to editors:

On 20th February 2014, Vision Critical conducted an online survey among 2,000 randomly selected British adults who are Springboard UK panelists. The margin of error—which measures sampling variability—is +/- 2.2%. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current education, age, gender and regional data to ensure samples representative of the entire adult population of United Kingdom. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.

* Based on the 8.8m drivers who auto renewed their last policy x £238.51 = £2.098bn

There are an estimated 28,420,877 motorists in the UK (Source – Department for Transport vehicle licencing statistics).  31% of car drivers auto-renewed their car insurance at their last renewal which = 8.8m drivers.

Based on independent research by Consumer Intelligence during 1st December 2013 to 31st December 2013 51% of consumers could achieve a saving of up to £238.51 with car insurance.