Shopping around for car insurance saved me £400 in 15 minutes

lefras's picture

This weekend I was reminded not to ever accept an insurance renewal quote without shopping around. I received a quote from my current provider, Tesco Car Insurance, in the post. It came to £978 for the privilege of having it insure me for another year -  a whopping 18% up from last year despite not making any claims. So I was sure I could do better and went straight for the comparison sites.
It only takes a few minutes to get a quote from a comparison site, and this was made even easier by the fact that I had all my information collated on the renewal quote I had received in the post.  In other words I used exactly the same information that Tesco already had on record. Imagine my surprise then when the best quote (apart from a cheaper one from a firm I had never heard of before) was from…..Tesco Car Insurance!  As a new customer coming in via a comparison site it considered me less of a risk (or perhaps less of a sucker?) than an existing customer of the exact same description. To the tune of £300.
What I do like about Tesco Car Insurance is that it gives you the opportunity to volunteer your Tesco Clubcard number in exchange for a potential discount. I’d be interested to understand how my wife’s weekly grocery shopping provides it with insight on our risk profile (alcohol purchases?), but I was thrilled to get another £100 discounted on account of our spending patterns.
Some 15 minutes later and I was insured once more - at £400 less than the original quote and £250 less than last year.  But while I felt good about the savings I had just made, I was left scratching my head about how little value this insurer must place on retaining existing customers.  Perhaps consumer apathy makes it worth its while to over-quote like this?