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30% of drivers auto-renewed their last car insurance policy

21 August 2013

As peak car insurance season approaches, Gocompare.com urges drivers to shop-around

  • 8.5 million drivers a year roll-over their car insurance without checking for cheaper premiums*
  • Motorists who auto-renew could be missing out on savings of up to £237.74**

With the release of the new ‘63' registration plate, September will see an increase in car sales, and with this comes one of the busiest months of the year for car insurance quotes and renewals.  But new research by Gocompare.com reveals that 30% of UK motorists allowed their insurer to automatically extend their policy for another year at their last renewal - potentially paying out hundreds of pounds more than they need to.

The survey found that 37% of drivers have stayed with the same insurer for three years or more, while 18% have stayed loyal to their insurer for five years or more.  And, while two thirds of drivers shopped around for a better deal when their car insurance came up for renewal, 30% simply allowed their insurance to continue for a further year with the same insurer.

Of the UK drivers who rolled-over their car insurance policy at their last renewal:

  • 37% believed that because their insurer was cheapest last year they would offer good value again this year
  • 26% auto-renewed out of loyalty to the insurer
  • 22% didn't want to change their direct debit
  • 15% said they had stuck with the same insurer because they thought that it was too much hassle to get new quotes

Saving money was the main reason for customers not just accepting their insurer's renewal offer.  Of those not auto-renewing, nearly half (48%) said that they shopped around to get cheaper cover, while 38% said that they didn't trust their existing insurer to offer them the best deal year after year.  A third thought that they got a better deal as a new customer, 7% had reviewed their insurance arrangements because their personal circumstances had changed, and 5% had switched because their existing provider had made changes to their policy terms and conditions.  

Scott Kelly, head of car insurance at Gocompare.com, commented: "Over the last year we've seen some major changes taking place in the insurance market, including gender-neutral pricing and changes in the law restricting the activities of claims management firms, which have resulted in a fall in car insurance premiums.  So whether you're switching cars this September or not, it may be a good time to consider switching your insurer, because shopping around is the easiest way to make savings on your car insurance costs.

"September is not only a peak time of the year for car sales, but car insurance renewals too.  Many insurers will offer you the chance to simply auto-renew your policy, and while this may seem an easy and convenient option, it could leave you hundreds of pounds out of pocket as loyalty seldom pays.

"Insurers typically send out renewal notices two to three weeks before a policy is due to come to an end.  You should use this time to shop around to see if you can get a better deal.   Comparison sites like Gocompare.com will enable you to quickly and easily compare a wide range of car insurance policies and prices.  Many insurers will automatically renew your insurance unless you contact them to tell them otherwise, so if you do decide to switch provider, don't forget to contact your existing insurer to advise them that you wish to cancel your policy when it expires."


Notes to editors:

On 9th August 2013, 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.

* There are an estimated 28,420,877 motorists in the UK (Source - Department for Transport vehicle licencing statistics).  30% of car drivers auto-renewed their car insurance at their last renewal which = 8.5m drivers.

** Based on online independent research by Consumer Intelligence during 01 July 3012 to 31 July 2013; 51% of consumers could achieve this saving with Gocompare.com car insurance.