I have to own up - I'm not the world's best haggler, in fact I'm a bit lousy at it. But actually, I've just discovered you don't actually need to haggle - better prices are often there for the taking! Here's what just happened to me last week.
Our home insurance renewal letter arrived giving us a nasty surprise - £464 pounds! Now you may think we live in a mansion or a five-bedroomed ranch house, but - no, we have a 3-bedroomed terrace house. This renewal price was £125 pounds up on last year's price and I was even more annoyed when I read down to the part that gleefully told me this included all my full no-claim's discount! Yeah-right!
So, I did the usual and went straight to a comparison site (yep, should have done more than one - I know, but after the first one was done I was suffering from serious brain fade!). So the cheapest quote was £170 and quite a few were around £200-£250. I also went to a couple of insurers' websites who don't appear on the comparison sites, notably Aviva, whose quote was around £225, but this came with the rather strange assurance that this was a 50% discounted new customer deal! I "discounted" them straight away (haha, see what I did there?).
By now I knew enough to ring my current insurer and tell them I wasn't going to renew (yes, really, that's all I was going to do). However, on hearing this, the woman on the end of the 'phone immediately offered me "another quote", which of course, confirms that even though they are a bank, in this case, they are acting as an insurance broker. Within seconds she offered me a quote of £360! So - just 'phone and say you're leaving and you can get around £100 knocked off the price. So much for an insurance broker getting us the cheapest deal. Anyway, after a long phone call and second quote, I extracted myself, phoned my new insurer gave the quote reference number and paid. Done.
Of course, I don't know how good/bad my new insurer will be. None of us know that until the unhappy day when we have to make a claim. My cover appears to be the same, and I have no doubt that this time next year my renewal figure will be at least double what I've paid this year.
I have resigned myself to the fact that as far as insurance goes, each year I will have to be a new customer!