Money Saving March: Research Before Renewing

If you read much about personal finance, you’ll probably already know that one of the cardinal money sins is to become lazy when it comes to switching your financial products.

Renewing your car insurance with your current provider is one such example of when apathy can easily cost you money.

Your provider will probably send you a new quote a few weeks before your renewal date just to tempt you in, and if you’ve been a good driver that year, chances are you’ll be offered a lower premium than the year before. As it’s cheaper than before, it might seem like a good deal, but why not see if there are any other even cheaper deals on the market by doing some shopping around?

If you’ve had your life insurance for a few years, the chances are, if everything else has remained the same, you could get that same cover for less. Or you could increase the amount you are covered for the same premium. With tools such as MoneySupermarket’s new Life Insurance Search, finding the cheapest premium from a range of providers has never been easier.

A brief word or warning though – if you’re planning on changing life insurance policies, you should never cancel a life insurance policy until you have confirmed that your new policy is in force. It’s unwise to leave yourself uncovered from life insurance for any period of time, however short it might be, as you never know what might happen.

Making regular investments into an ISA? There’s a good chance that you will be investing in the same cash or equity ISA year after year, if, like me, you setup the Direct Debits and just let them continue each year. But before you get stuck with another poorly performing ISA, do some research into the best cash ISA rates, or get some advice into which funds would best suit your risk profile. Luckily, if you do end up in the same old ISA, it is possible to switch your money to a better rate, but watch for any switching charges eating into your investment.

The web has made it far easier to compare providers premiums, and of course there is never any reason to feel obliged into switching providers if you ultimately realise you’re better off sticking with your current provider. But it can just be good to keep your current provider on their toes by shopping around a little.

If you’re coming to the end of any contract that costs you money, whether it be for broadband, satellite television, mobile phone etc., rather than letting apathy get the better of you, think about what it is costing, work out whether you are getting value for money, and research other options that may be cheaper. Companies thrive on our unwillingness to switch, but the tools that are available to us these days mean that we should not let our laziness cost us money.

This post forms part of the Money Saving March series of posts.

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