Couple of weeks ago I received 2 fat A4 letters from Halifax’s Home Insurance division. The contents of the packages was no mystery, I knew my landlord building insurance policies for 2 of my rentals were shortly due for renewal, so they were eager for me to resign and seal the deal.
Clearly, there’s nothing exciting about what they had sent me, and they knew it. I can’t physically think of anything more snooze-worthy than reading through thick insurance policy packs, and neither can they, and that’s precisely why they’re hoping I just ‘do nothing’ and allow the policy to automatically renew itself.
Don’t be lazy, save money!!
That’s the thing with insurance companies, and in fact most companies that use automatic renewal systems, they prey on laziness. They literally masturbate over people being lazy, so damn lazy to the point that they can’t even be bothered to shop around for all of 10 minutes to salvage better deals, which inevitably means they’ll remain on the same old policy, which is rarely ever the most competitive product on the market. I dread to think how much money insurers’ make from laziness.
Holding onto existing customers by boring them to death is easy money for them. Cunning plan, and they almost had me.
Fortunately, the mundane and gloomy task of opening and reading through the newly proposed policies only remained untouched, gathering dust on the kitchen worktop, for 2 weeks. Had the extend of my laziness and disinterest stretched for another 2 weeks, they would have had me hook, line, and sinker. I would have automatically rolled into their new policy, which of course, had increased from last year’s premium. Obviously we can’t blame them, why would the super rich multi-billion corporation allow just one bloody year to go by without jacking up their prices, even though I didn’t make any claims or change any of my circumstances?
In reality, we mostly have to renew policies annually, and with all the comparison websites knocking around these days, it takes all of a few minutes to determine whether there’s a better deal on the market. That’s dedicating approximately 10 minutes of our precious time every year to potentially save hundreds of pounds, yet so many of us still don’t bother. If someone said, “fill in this form, should take around 10mins, and I’ll give you a £100”, would you do it? Fuck yeah, that equates to £600 per hour.
But still, we never really value “saving money” like we value “earning money”, when we probably should, because it’s the same thing depending on which way you look at it.
I’m not going to lie, I was almost tempted to remain sunk into my lazy-boy chair, with the residue of cheesy Wotsit crumbs smeared all over my face, while bowing down to the new premium rate Halifax had offered me. That was the easy option. Easy is good. Easy is sexy!
But for the sake of 10 minutes work, it made very little sense to go with my urges, despite how lazy I was feeling. What’s 10 minutes? Takes me longer to peel an avocado.
We don’t have any excuses, and we shouldn’t even need to be looking for any, because the outcome can only be beneficial- we either get a better deal or get confirmation that we currently have a good deal! It’s win/win.
How/where I got my insurance quote
The funny thing is, I even link to a landlord insurance quote generator on this blog, yet I was still contemplating shrugging it off. Fortunately, common sense prevailed, and laziness was a rare second place.
I filled out the quote form (took about 2 minutes), and literally 1 second later, my phone was buzzing. I knew had an insurance broker calling me. It was kind of freaky how quick it all was. I also had 3 missed calls from other brokers during the conversation. It literally was a case of, ‘you snooze, you lose’
I can only imagine how frantic the chase is when a new lead comes in. Kill or be killed. In any case, the valiant broker I was striking a deal with drew first blood, so he had my attention, and he seemed reasonably cool. He went over my details and requirements and gave me his best quote.
Insurance policy requirements/spec
- Both the properties are pretty much identical, in the same area as well.
- They’re 2 bedroom, mid-terraced houses.
- The rebuild cost for each property was set at £150,000. (here’s a rebuild cost calculator so you can calculate what yours should be set at)
- £250 excess fee
- £5 million public liability
- Includes accidental damage cover
Renewal policy proposed by Halifax
Halifax quoted me £260 for each property, totaling £520.
New proposed offer with ‘Lloyds of London’
My new quote was £130 for each property, for the exact same policy, which totaled to £260.
I was also told that if I can find a better deal with in their 14 day grace period (which starts after the policy starts), they’ll happily cancel the policy and return my money, no questions asked.
I just want to point out that I didn’t opt for the cheapest product available. For example, I could have paid less if I lowered my rebuild cost to the lower bracket, increased my excess fee, and didn’t opt for ‘accidental damage cover’ (apparently that’s not always standard). It’s important to never under insure!
There are literally hundreds of policies available on the market, and new ones are being introduced every day, so it’s important to use due diligence when choosing the best policy to suit your needs. An insurance broker should be able to provide assistance and guide you in the right direction if you’re unsure about what you need.
50% saving in 20 minutes
It took me 20 minutes in total to fill out the landlord insurance quote form, talk to an insurance broker, and renew my policy for a much better rate. That’s a pretty big saving I made for such little work.
I paid there and then, and the policy will automatically takeover on the last day of my existing policy. Beautiful.
I also contacted Halifax to cancel the renewals. Even though I made it clear why I was switching (the 50% saving), the adviser was still adamant on trying to keep my business, yet couldn’t provide any valid reasons. There was a lot of fluff talk. I guess he was only doing his job, but when you’re competing against such a big price differential for the same product, there’s very little you can do. Perhaps he could have won my sympathy vote by crying and begging.
Always get quotes!
Obviously this isn’t the most exhilarating or gripping of blog posts, and I can only apologise for that. And it’s not like I’m disclosing any ground-breaking messages here. You can find 12 year old ‘Money saving’ bloggers preaching the same shit, get quotes.
But the reason I wanted to continue spreading the word is because people STILL don’t value their money, and the more it’s preached, the more likely it is that people will see the light. I want to encourage EVERYONE that isn’t already doing so, to invest 10, 20, 30 minutes every year, just to look into renewing policies. Not just regarding insurance, but mortgages, savings accounts, utilities etc. I know so many of us don’t bother and I completely get it. We all just want easy lives. However, while being lazy is so God damn compelling, it’s also incredibly expensive. The money saved can go towards much better causes, like improving your actual property and improving conditions for your tenants. However you spend it, I guarantee, you’ll feel better once you make the saving.
I was genuinely surprised by my saving, and I feel like I actually made an extra £260 today simply by investing 20 minutes. You could do the same today!
Most of us in the real world work our asses off to earn £260 (at least, definitely more than 20mins work). We have to deal with bullshit conditions and unreasonable people, yet we’ll happily overspend and completely lose value in the work we put in. It’s pretty sad.
So if you’re one of those people that are reluctant to shop around because you think you’re already getting a great deal, I hope this post encourages you to reconsider. If you’ve got a policy that needs renewing any time soon, at least try it, and let me know how you get it on and how much you saved. In particular, let me know if you use the landlord insurance quote form.
As they say, “any saving you make is better than an oversized dildo being shoved up your ass.”
Good luck, and God bless xo
P.s. always read the terms and conditions of all policies and don’t forget about the small print! Some times the cheapest isn’t always the best, particularly with insurance! If you’re going to renew a policy, ensure you’re getting quoted for a like-for-like product (or something even better) so you can accurately compare!
Disclaimer: I'm just a landlord blogger; I'm 100% not qualified to give legal or financial advice. I'm a doofus. Any information I share is my unqualified opinion, and should never be construed as professional legal or financial advice. You should definitely get advice from a qualified professional for any legal or financial matters. For more information, please read my full disclaimer.