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Some people have long relationships with insurance companies – which is great if you are satisfied with your cover. But if you feel that it’s time to shop around for insurance, here’s everything you need to know about switching insurers.
Love the one you’re with
Sometimes it’s better to stay with your current insurer. If cost is your only reason for wanting to change your car or home insurance, speak to your insurer to see if they will match a competitor’s offer. Most companies will be keen to reward your loyalty with a reduced premium. Another reason to stay with an insurer is to benefit from a no-claims or other cash-back bonus.
Choosing the right insurer
If you feel it’s time to move on, do your homework to choose the right insurer for your needs. You may want to speak to a broker to get his/her feedback on which companies offer the best cover or service. You could also read online forums or visit social media pages to get a feel for common complaints or compliments.
Research company track records, specifically their claims paying ability and customer service ratings. Santam, for example, pay out more money in claims than any other insurer. See what else you can get with your cover – such as free roadside assistance, emergency and concierge services.
Shop around for quotes – but read the fine print
Get a number of quotes to help you negotiate the best price. Just be sure to get the same level of cover from your new insurer. There’s a difference between changing your level of cover and changing your insurer. Most car insurers, for example, will offer comprehensive car insurance (the highest level of cover) and third party insurance (the bare minimum cover).
If you are getting a better price, look carefully at the details to ensure you are getting exactly the same benefits. For example, check if the excess is a fixed amount or a percentage of the value of the claim, and whether your premium will change after you’ve claimed.
Making the switch
Once you’ve found the ideal insurer – a combination of price, value and service – be sure to get something in writing before you cancel your old one. Even if it’s not required, always cancel your policy in writing so that you have a record of the requested cancellation in case the company continues to bill you. Double-check that your new policy is active – the last thing you want is to have a gap in cover should you have an accident.
Will cancelling cost me money?
Cancelling itself shouldn’t cost you extra but your new insurer might charge a once-off administration fee. Long-term, cancelling could cost you as you might lose out on multi-insurance benefits or no-claim cash-back bonuses. In other words, ensure that the monthly savings you will enjoy amount to more than the cash-back you would have received.
Is it time to make the change? Speak to an insurer that looks for reasons to pay you rather than not. Switch to Santam for comprehensive home and car cover. Request a quote, speak to your intermediary or call us on 0860 444 444.
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