Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Frugal insurance

I've just been speaking to a man in India, well I think it was India but it could have been anywhere in the world. Guess what, I actually understood most of what he said, I only had to ask him twice to repeat things more slowly. Why do they always rattle on ten to the dozen, with the words shooting across your skull from one ear and out the other side. I dread making these phone calls, but this one had to be made.

My house insurance is up for renewal and with an increase in direct debit every year, it has become rather expensive, so time to look for ways to get it down. I suppose I could have gone onto one of those compare sites, but as insurance matters don't make a lot of sense to me I thought it would be easier to contact my current provider and negotiate a policy more suited to my needs.

I cant face the trauma of starting afresh with a new company. For a start I would rather talk these things through face to face with a real person, then if I don't understand anything I can ask for clarification. Anyway, he had my details in front of him on the screen, and I had my renewal documents which came in the post, so we were able to communicate between us.

I remember when I took this policy out years ago, I had remortgaged and was pretty upset at having to do that. I had a beat up old car which was dropping to bits, and no cash to buy another one. It seemed a sensible idea to add a bit to the mortgage rather than get a loan. I have never borrowed money to buy a car, and I felt embarrassed that I hadn't saved up enough cash.

I took the insurance policy out at the same time as the mortgage, so I was pretty stressed anyway, but I ploughed on and listened to all the options. For peace of mind I figured I had better get all eventualities covered. Well you do don't you? Can't leave anything to chance.

Fast forward several years and it's about time I looked at the policy in more detail. I have chucked out the contents insurance, I haven't anything of any value worth insuring. After all, it's only stuff. If a robber breaks in he will probably fall about laughing. If anything does get damaged or nicked I will replace it, that's if I can't live my life without whatever it was.

The house itself is the main thing, so I have left that cover alone, but increased the excess to bring down the premium. I also had cover for accidental damage while doing any DIY jobs. Such as if anyone puts their foot through the ceiling while working above, or if the decoration gets damaged. Why I had that cover I do not know, dump it. I have got no DIY projects planned, and I have only decorated one room since I moved in 16 years ago.

Now that's sorted I feel a lot better. It's knocked £20 a month off my payments. A nice bit of trimming and tidying up there.


  1. The only things REALLY worth anything (and I don't mean money wise)are my cats. The insurance people said they were each worth $15 to replace. REPLACE!!! The guy talked about the cats as though they were household items....he could have been more sensitive.
    Jane x

  2. Well worth it! You can do a lot with £20 every month! It's so easy for people to get swept along and keep paying for things that they don't need so it's always worth reassessing every so often!

  3. I always look at all my insurances every year and renegotiate. Have you tried it with your car insurance. I re-did all mine and saved $1000
    I have no subscriptions anymore, have nt had for a long time and I gave up my membership to a big box warehouse club last month. There is only a couple of things I buy in there and it is not worth the $50 a year fee.
    The one thing that really bugs me is my land line - I thought that bundling was cheaper but its not. I want so badly to get rid of it all together and just have a mobile.
    It is great to save 20 quid a month just by pay attention is nt it ?
    I really envy you your free bus pass - if I had one I would never be home.

  4. I consider house insurance a necessary evil. Pay it monthly, and been with same insurer for a while, no problems. I'm like you Ilona, don't like chopping and changing. My neighbours use Rias and say they're grand, had no problems.

  5. Hello Ilona,

    This comment isn't relevant to your post, but you don't have an email contact and I wanted to let you know of a recent incident.

    I think it was nearly a year ago when I read one of your blog posts on a holiday you had with Traveleyes. I was so inspired, that I looked up their website and was amazed by the array of holidays which they have to offer.
    Anyway, practically a year later, I have my holiday booked and I leave on Thursday for Sorrento. Yipee!!

    My reason for contacting you though, was that Amar telephoned me last night and during our conversation he asked, "How did I get to know about Traveleyes?".
    I mentioned that it was through you and one of your posts about your trip with them and how I was smitten. I told him I couldn't remember your name, but your blog is called, "Life after Money".
    "Oh! Ilona", Amar blurts out... so there you are, you're not forgotten. I just thought you might like to know that and also to thank you for inspiring me to experience Traveleyes too.

  6. Congrats, Ilona on your great savings. Any plans for the £20 saved?

    Sft x

  7. Our insurers have just come up trumps after we had an horrific water leak from the mains between the house and the meter. Lesson learnt - make sure you're insured for that particular bit of pipework - the work to fix it as an emergency over a bank holiday was several thousand pounds as the plumbing men had to dig down nearly eight foot! The insurance is also paying out for damage inside the house so no doubt our premiums will rise next year but we'd be sorely stretched to pay for it all otherwise.

  8. I persuaded my Mum (91) to change her insurance as she'd been with Co-op for donkeys years. They made ****up when my Dad died and she was convinced that they had cancelled and not transferred into her name.

    Anyway we decided upon Age Concern, or Age UK as they are known now at a greatly reduced price. About 3 months ago, whilst I was away for the weekend, mum had a valve on her pump broke, causing water to leak onto the living room ceiling, bringing the 'combed' plaster down. She was going to get it fixed. I got her to ring Age UK and they sent someone out two days later, had to test for asbestos (a complete nightmare for us) and to cut short, the job is now done. She didn't want the hassle of a new carpet, she just - yes - scrubbed the old one.

    They have been marvellous with her, the workmen great and all in all a good job and her room has been decorated. A very good move.


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