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Tuesday, 10 April 2018

You win some, you lose some

Hello. I managed to save a few £'s yesterday by making a phone call. Every year I get a renewal letter from the RAC, (breakdown and recovery policy), and every year I ring them up and ask why has it gone up so much. They usually find a way to knock a bit off and so I agree to the new amount that they have offered. Well now I an fed up of doing that, so this time it's curtains, cancelled I am not paying the extra 20 quid that they want.

I rang my insurance brokers because they have offered me a much better price in the past for the same RAC cover, so now I am moving to them. Seems a bit bonkers to me, you pay direct to the RAC and it costs more than going through another channel.

Ok, so now I want to explain why I use an insurance broker for my car insurance. Some will say, they cost more, yes they probably do because they have premises and staff to pay for, but I am paying for a service in the same way that someone might pay a window cleaner or a gardener, or a cleaner. I can clean my own windows, look after my own garden, and clean my own house, so savings there. 

I know my weaknesses and big numbers are not my strong point. I am confused by spreadsheets, and the small print in policies, who reads them all anyway. I want to get it right so I speak to my broker on the phone as I have been doing for the last 48 years. They explain everything to me, I get a real person in an office, I know where the office is I have visited it in the past. It's a family business which I stick with because they provide a good service. They are the experts in insurance, and after all this time they are still in business.

I know, things have moved forward, people can look for better deals on the internet. That's fine for those who want to spend time doing that. There is a trade off between time and money. You can save all the money you like on every aspect of your life, and you can become obsessed by saving money. You can search out the best deals on every penny you spend, but if money is controlling your life, you will have no life worth living.

I know the areas where I am hot on saving money, I know the amount of time I am willing to invest in achieving those savings. Some people are not so keen on saving a few £'s on food shopping, doing it my way takes time and effort to go around the shops comparing prices. Others would rather tap a few keys on a keyboard to do their shopping. I see that physically walking around shops is better for me, I am in the open air, I am walking, I am not sat at home looking at a screen.

I am now going to cancel the direct debit to the RAC, I am leaving them. The wheels are in motion for joining the RAC via my insurance broker. I know there are other breakdown companies out there, but I would rather stick with a known brand, a man, or woman (I have yet to meet one), in an orange van.

There are many different way of saving money, people have different needs and wants. I do the best for me, now you do the best for you.

A note has popped up in the corner of my screen, Scott has a new video out on yoootooob, so now I'm going to get a coffee and watch that. It's raining, and it's mobile library day, so I won't be going far. Thanks for popping in, we'll catch up soon.
Toodle pip

17 comments:

  1. I totally understand numbers not being a strong point. My eyes glaze over when it comes to math calculations.

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    1. Same here, Lisa. I used to dread maths at school. I sat at the back huddled over a book, pretending to listen when I didn't understand any of it apart from adding, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Beyond that my mind was a blank.

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    2. Joy here. I'm like you, I avoid math at all costs. Never understood fractions until someone actually drew a (round) pie shape and explained that half of it was 1/2, divided it into fourths, each piece was 1/4, and so on. I think us artistic types need a drawing to understand these things. Numbers just thrown up on a board or on a piece of paper don't cut it for me.

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  2. my daughter gets very annoyed with me because i wont trawl the internet looking for the cheapest , to often its cheapest for a reason. we have car insurance with the one i have found to have a pleasant useful UK based call center , who if i tell them what the money saving websites are quoting they usually adjust it to within £10 , you can choose to opt out of automatic renewal my pet bugbear and seem to be very good in the event of a claim ..LV thats my little review for them ...lol

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  3. I changed from them this year Ilona, because some of the internet reviews of their service aren't so good.

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  4. After being with our company for many years, I went looking for a cheaper rate. After three or four other companies, I found out that the one we were with IS the cheapest one for us. I won’t look again for another few years, probably. Or, when we change something in our coverage.

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  5. We've did the same with the RAC last summer. Ours is now via the insurance but I do wonder why things are changing on that front and the insurers are offering the inclusion within the policy and had never done so before? Are the RAC now being partially employed by the insurer but still trading as well? Pretty sure there's something afoot that benefits both.

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  6. "If money is controlling your life, you have no life worth living." This sentence really stands out to me. I totally agree. We all like a bargain, be it food, household goods, holidays etc, but to devote your life to penny pinching at every turn can consume you. It's all about balance. I know someone who is comfortable, but is so tight, as we say, that he wouldn't give you a lift without charging. I have read some blogs where they are consumed with freebies from companies, apps, even picking up other people's shopping bills to either claim their unused loyalty points or comparison price refunds. There people are not desperately poor, just obsessed. I once half watched a programme on tv, where in America, several women not only cut out every coupon in the county, but spent hours working out how many items they would have to buy, some in conjunction with others which were also on offers and multiple buys, checking out the supermarket before entering a race with each other to see who could grab the most bargains in a given time and end up paying practically a few pence for the trolley load of shopping, with even more off if they won the race. Not sure of the details now, but that is the gist. They spent every day of the year cutting out coupons, and working out their strategy. What a waste of a life, and neglect of their family, and these people were not poor, just your average middle Americans. Get a bargain, go for the best deal if you can, but get a balance.
    Oh, I also agree Ilona, if you are physically able, get out and shop in real life not on line, its exercise, fresh air, and you meet and chat to other people !

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    1. I came across that programme Jean. It was called extreme couponing and I have never seen so much stress in all my life, making sure they had worked it out okay because they didn't want to pay out a few pence. The only upside that I could see was that they apparently donated the stuff they bought that they didn't need (trolleys of the stuff)

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  7. Totally agree re RAC and renewing online...I go to the NFU office in person,friendly real humans. Cheaper as well as that

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  8. Each year when I receive my insurance renewal, I go to Compare the Market.com and input my details. It annoys me when the company I have been using for years always comes out around £60 cheaper online. I then phone them and they reduce my premium to the price quoted online. It's very frustrating but worth the 15 minutes or so that it takes.

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  9. I didn’t know you could go to a broker for that type of insurance that’s really interesting. Thank you. I agree it can all become a bit obsessive as in the case of the extreme couponing - best to keep things in proportion.

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  10. We used a insurance broker too. We have car for work and got a great rate on home and car insurance bundled together. We live outside the Toronto area (Canada) An insurance company was trying to give us a 'great rate' for our workplace. We pay ~1000 per year for car and house insurance using our insurance broker. The insurance company wanted ~1800 for the same policy. They could not match or beat our insurance broker. The year our insurance broker asked for an additional $80 more, we spent 20 minutes going through the policy with them, and found $60 in savings. When we chose a payment plan of 6 months, they took off $20 from our policy. $80 added. $60 in savings found. $20 for paying a larger amount. We save for the 6 months, a little from each paycheck. Luv using insurance brokers!

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  11. Hi Ilona. Just curious. What is the average cost for car insurance in Britain? I pay about $900 a year for my policy, but I'm not complaining. I could drive off a pier, sink an ocean liner and not have to worry. I also like dealing with actual people instead of doing everything on-line. Can't speak for the rest of the world, but I think the Internet has made too many Americans lazy and stupid. Vera in Sheboygan

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  12. When my renewal for anything comes, car or house insurance, I go straight to a comparing site. I rarely stay with the same company, you can switch in a heartbeat and you can always get it cheaper than somewhere else. I frequently change my energy supplier, too. It takes no time at all and often saves you a decent amount of money.

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  13. hmm.. i'm a bit mixed on this one. normally I would agree that spending hours on the internet trawling for the cheapest options is a waste of time - but then, I did spend loads of time yest (and plan to do today)trawling around trying to save a few pounds on my gas/elec due to BGas impending price hike....

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  14. I am a bit lost with switching. I am rubbish with figures and when I tried to switch my gas I got so confused I gave up! I really want to leave British Gas as they are complete rip off merchants.

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