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NewsINSURANCE SAVINGS GUIDE: 'Insurer of the Year' - Home Insurance Rorts Revealed - Car Insurance Rebates - Hardship programs - Multi-policy Discounts Tested

INSURANCE SAVINGS GUIDE: 'Insurer of the Year' - Home Insurance Rorts Revealed - Car Insurance Rebates - Hardship programs - Multi-policy Discounts Tested

 IN THIS GUIDE:

  • NEW: "Insurer of the Year" award announced
  • Trick or treat? We put Multi-policy Discounts to the test
  • The truth about Home Insurance premiums: some providers charge DOUBLE what others do
  • Some Car Insurers are offering partial refunds or gift cards to customers who are driving less
  • Relief packages including discounts for those who have lost work
  • Two ways to request a partial refund or discount due to lower mileage during COVID-19.

 

 

🏆 AND THE WINNER IS... MONEY MAGAZINE'S 'INSURER OF THE YEAR' 🏆

Money Magazine has announced its 2020 Consumer Finance Awards, based on “a rigorous data-driven analysis assisted by research leaders Rainmaker Information and data provider InfoChoice”.

Insurer of the year (for the 4th year in a row) is Budget Direct, for its “consistent focus on the markets they serve and competitive pricing". 

Out of 32,125 reviews on the insurer's website, 22,415 are 5 stars and 6,805 are 4 stars. All of which is good news for our members as they currently get access to special offers on Budget Direct Home and Car Insurance:

👉  SPECIAL OFFERS for FiftyUp Club members:
Car Insurance Offer from Budget Direct
Home Insurance Offer from Budget Direct

 

Here's how Alan saved over $700 on Home Insurance 

"Had changed to this particular insurer (Australian Seniors) last year getting a good deal as a "newbie" compared to my previous insurer.

"Anyway, this year the renewal came in and what a shock. The premium had risen by almost $300 which took the premium to almost $1700. I can tell you I was not happy especially with my wife and I on a pension.

Started to look around on my own. Got a couple of quotes from different insurers, then checked the Budget Direct offer as per your last email. Wow, a pleasant surprise. I found we could get exactly the same cover for half that amount.

We saved a massive $700+

Regards, Alan Noble

 

💲 REVEALED: SOME HOME INSURERS CHARGING DOUBLE WHAT OTHERS DO 💲

NEW research by former ACCC boss Professor Allan Fels has lifted the lid on Home & Contents Insurance prices, revealing the true cost of not shopping around for your cover.

His latest report covering 13 insurers across 11 different postcodes reveals that:

  • Switching providers in some areas would save an average household $1200 in the coming year,
  • The most expensive providers are more than DOUBLE the price of the cheapest on average,
  • CommInsure, QBE, NRMA and OnePath were the most expensive surveyed, and
  • Youi, Westpac, Allianz and Woolies were the cheapest surveyed.

The data is from NSW in March, where Fels is the Emergency Services Levy Monitor. But a previous report by Fels in Victoria in 2013 found the following similar results:

  • The cheapest policies cost $264 - $825 less than the most expensive over a year.
  • AAMI was the cheapest insurer surveyed across four postcodes
  • RACV was the most expensive on average across four postcodes.

In NSW, Fels compared insurance prices on a monthly basis and analysed the data, revealing the shocking statistic that new customers pay on average 27% less than longstanding ‘loyal’ customers for Home & Contents Insurance.

He estimated Australians pay $3.6 billion more than we should across a range of household bills because of this ‘loyalty tax’ on those who don’t shop around.

The message is clear: always get a second quote on Home & Contents Insurance, and maybe a third. It might save you thousands.

👉 Special Deal from Budget Direct: 30% OFF first year’s premium on new Home & Contents Combined Policies purchased online + $50 eGift Card.*

(NB: Budget Direct was not one of the 13 providers included in the Fels research.)

 

INFOGRAPHIC OF PROF ALLAN FELS' RESEARCH

 

PRICE CHECK! IS YOUR ‘MULTI-POLICY DISCOUNT’ REALLY CHEAPER?

Some insurers offer ‘multi-policy discounts’ up to 25% if you take out more than one plan with them. But do they stack up?

In one test, I ran my 5yo Hyundai through two providers’ websites to see if the maximum ‘multi-policy discount’ ended up cheaper than a challenger brand for Comprehensive Car Insurance.

NRMA Insurance will give you up to 25% off some policies if you’ve been with them for 25-plus years and you have 10-plus policies (as unlikely as that is…).

However, when I crunched the numbers it was STILL more expensive than the advertised price of Budget Direct.

Provider

Discount

Premium quoted

NRMA 

25% multi-policy

$911

Budget Direct

15% in 1st year

$664

This was just a one-off, based on my car’s details, and could reflect the fact NRMA doesn’t like my car or my suburb or me. However, it demonstrates my point: multi-policy discounts are not ALWAYS all they’re cracked up to be.

Sometimes we’re so blinded by the marketing trick of a "bundle discount" that we forget to check whether, at the end of the day, the numbers really add up.

👉  Special deal with Budget Direct for FiftyUp Club members

🆘  DISCOUNTS & REBATES DUE TO COVID-19 🆘 

Why should you pay full price for your insurance right now if you’re staying home, making the risk of an accident or burglary MUCH lower?

At least half a dozen insurers were publicly offering rebates or discounts to some customers but most seem to have ended on June 30.  Here’s what we’ve seen that is still in place:

QBE:

  • Has EXTENDED its $50 gift card offer (for new and old customers) until the end of July. It’s not big bucks but it all counts. More here.

Youi:

  • Originally offered 15% off to drivers who were driving less - whether they were existing customers or new customers. That offer ended June 30, but Youi has EXTENDED a new 10% discount for the next three months, ending 1 October 2020, and added Home Insurance to the deal. More info here.

Suncorp:

  • Up to 20% discount or 3-month premiums waivers for customers in hardship

AAMI (part of Suncorp Group):

  • Up to 20% discount or 3-month premiums waivers for customers in hardship

Apia (part of Suncorp Group):

  • Up to 20% discount or 3-month premiums waivers for customers in hardship

GIO (part of Suncorp Group):

  • Up to 20% discount or 3-month premiums waivers for customers in hardship

IAG:

  • The other big insurance group in Australia (which owns NRMA Insurance, CGU, WFI, SGIO and SGIC), has announced travel insurance refunds for any unused proportion of premiums, including full refunds where customers have not yet travelled and have not claimed, plus a range of options for small businesses.


💸 TWO SMART WAYS TO REQUEST A PARTIAL REFUND OR DISCOUNT 💸

Whether your insurer is offering rebates or not, you might be able to save on Car Insurance with these strategies:

Strategy #1:

Email/Phone Script to Request a Partial Refund

Hi there, I’ve been a loyal customer of [____] Insurance for [____] years now, and I have car insurance with you that costs $[____] a year.

When you set the premium for that policy, my annual mileage estimate was [____] kms a year.

But since the COVID-19 restrictions came into place, I am driving much less. In fact, my new estimate for my annual mileage is only [____] kms a year.

Given the change, I represent a substantially lower risk to my insurer, and I am requesting a partial refund of this year’s premium.

I note that insurers such as Youi, QBE and RACQ are publicly giving members partial refunds or gift cards to acknowledge their lower mileage and reduced risk.

There has also been anecdotal evidence of other insurers such as RACV doing so privately.

Some of these insurers are also offering these discounts to NEW customers, and I’m tempted to switch my policy to one of them if you can’t offer me some relief.

It would be a travesty if any insurance company were to profit from COVID-19 at the expense of customers who need every dollar they can get right now.

I look forward to your reply - please respond to me ASAP at this address.

Yours sincerely,
[____]

 

Strategy #2:

The 'Drive less, pay less' Savings Trick

Many insurers offer an option where you pay less if you limit the distances you drive. It might not have been right for you when you last renewed, but it could be now.

You can change your policy ANYTIME and they’ll REFUND you some of your premium if it goes down. So contact your insurer, ask what difference it would make to your price, and see if you can save.

I got two quotes from the same provider this week on a new Mazda CX-5, but I entered two different mileages to check the premium difference.

  • Up to 5,000km/year = $941
  • Up to 25,000km/year = $1070
  • Difference = $129 or 12%

 Special deal here with Budget Direct: “Get a lower premium if your car travels less than 12,000km a year.” **

 

** Please read the PDS to see if the product is right for you.

Check in regularly for the latest updates. As the money-saving experts, we’re working hard to give our million-plus members all the info you need to come through these tough times in good financial shape.

But we’re not doctors! For health-related questions, please see health.gov.au or the ABC’s dedicated website here.

Any information is general advice, it does not take into account your individual circumstances, objectives, financial situation or needs. These fees may be based on either referrals to third parties or on application or approval for products from third party providers.

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