Buying insurance online can slash billsSave money by shopping around for a cheaper deal

23 January 2008

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Shopping around for home, car and travel insurance online could cut your annual bill by more than a quarter, Which? Money reveals today.

Using quotes from Best Buy insurers, Which? Money researchers found a couple aged 45 could spend up to £660 a year buying buildings, contents, car and annual travel insurance over the phone.

But if they bought insurance from Best Buys online, they could cut this figure by 26% to £491– an annual saving of £169.

And that saving would have been even more if they had switched to a Best Buy from a poorer value product.

Best Buys

Which? Money asked for online and phone car insurance quotes from three Best Buys - Budget, Churchill and the Post Office.

Car insurance
Company Phone Online Online saving
Budget (£220 std excess) £267 £254 5%
Churchill (£150 std excess) £311 £260 16%
Post Office (£100 std excess) £341 £282 17%

Each was asked to provide cover for a 45- year-old couple with a medium-risk car, living in a low-risk area with a five-year no-claims discount.

The biggest online saving was from the Post Office. It quoted a premium of £341 over the phone but only £282 online.

And the cheapest online quote (Budget) was 26% cheaper than the most expensive phone quote (Post Office).

Shop around

The three buildings insurance quotes were all cheaper online, while for contents insurance it was cheaper to buy online for two out of three.

Which? Money Editor Martyn Hocking said: ‘You can clearly save money by shopping around for insurance on the internet. Don’t automatically renew your insurance with the same provider – shop around, as it’s likely you'll be able to find a cheaper deal elsewhere.

‘Concentrate on getting online quotes for insurance, as these tend to offer the best deals.

‘If you’re using comparison websites to get quotes, visit two or three and then get separate Direct Line, Churchill and Privilege quotes, as these may not appear on all the comparison sites, to give yourself as many options to compare as possible.’