Let’s Save Money

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Edward Winiarski of Derby based Giles Insurance Brokers Ltd gives some simple money saving tips for Hub members........

Are you always getting best value when buying personal insurances?

Insurance is without doubt still a ‘grudge’ purchase particularly in these difficult economic times, but with a bit of care you can ensure you at least get best value. The key is not just achieving a cheap premium but getting the right covers without duplicating what you already have and therfore wasting money!

So where do we start?

Well I would always look for what I call ‘invisible’ covers. They are often found in bank accounts, credit cards etc and they are invisible simply because the providers don’t want you to find them. They avoid many claims because customers are simply not aware of what cover they have. It is not unusual to find travel insurance, warranty, vehicle breakdown and many other benefits so it is crucial to identify them and see how they apply to your own specific needs.

In a similar way mortgages can include buildings and contents cover plus mortgage protection and even payment protection insurance.

The total cost of your holiday may well include insurance which you are paying for possibly on an annual basis or within a home insurance!

How often have you continued to renew your AA membership when your new car has at least the first 3 years vehicle breakdown cover as standard?

If you are an employed person, check out in detail your employee benefits and understand them. Why buy stand alone life assurance if your employer is already providing a 4 times salary death in service benefit? This could equally apply to income protection or private medical benefits.

Finally let’s take a look at my personal favourite...Warranty Insurance. Whether you consider it to be good value is up to you and I would not comment, but please first consider the manufacturers guarantee which is sometimes extended without charge by the retailer. In today’s world of disposable technology why continue to pay a premium long after the product has passed its sell by date and has no value at all?

Once you have exhausted the free insurance route it is time to turn your attention to how you can save money when actually paying a premium.

Let’s take Home Insurance first – if you have a high level of security, alarm or regular occupancy make sure your insurer knows as discounts are available. This also applies to Neighbourhood Watch Schemes so take the trouble to discover if one operates in your area and advise your insurer..

Moving on, I can never quite see the real benefit in the extended accidental damage cover on buildings. Whilst vital on contents, it is often included automatically on buildings and to be honest unless you are planning to put your foot through the ceiling whilst in the loft I can see little other benefit.

Finally, if your home insurance includes valuables away from your premises then exclude baggage cover under any travel insurance arrangements you have...another worthwhile saving!

When buying your Motor Insurance, again make sure your insurer is aware of additional security or tracking devices and whether your car is in a locked garage overnight. Don’t buy open driving if only you or possibly your spouse would ever drive and if you are only a very occasional user of your car then you can get a discount by offering to limit your mileage to an agreed figure.

To achieve further savings you could look to restrict your cover to Third Party or Third Party Fire & Theft or elect to take a higher own damage excess for which a good discount is often available.

We have already mentioned travel insurance and if you take more than that one trip per year then annual family travel cover is for you. Don’t forget your ‘invisible’ insurances though...you could already have cover through your bank account, credit card or indeed home insurance!!

Finally a vital tip when buying packaged holiday insurance....read the documents carefully & watch age limits and exclusions or special terms applied to pre existing medical conditions.

So in summary, do shop around. There are many insurance providers schemes and brokers available and premiums can and do vary widely!

Avoid instalmentsif you don’t really need them - they can add up to 8% to the annual cost of your policy!

Resist that persistentcross sell of warranty cover when buying your new 50 inch Plasma TV and do take the trouble to read and understand all your policies – they contain a lot of benefits you may not even be aware of.

Most important of all, always keep a watchful eve on those invisible covers which in the end cost you the least of all....nothing!!

  • This article is credited to Edward Winiarski
  • Giles Insurance Brokers
  • Bezant House, 3 Bradgate Park View, Chellaston, Derby DE73 5UH
  • Phone:01332 693200

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Date Added: 28 January 2013

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