20th January 2016
Nearly half of consumers failed to switch any of the most common financial products last year, meaning they may be stuck on uncompetitive deal.
Failure to switch financial products means that millions of people could each be losing out on £100s of savings, a study by GoCompare.com reveals.
Car insurance topped the list of products switched in 2015, with just under a fifth (19%) of those surveyed switching to a better deal.
Energy (17%) and home insurance (16%) were among the top products switched last year, while very few people (2%) changed their mortgage.
The survey revealed that, on average, people have stayed with the same car insurer for 2.4 years; home insurer for 2.7 years and the same energy supplier for 3.2 years.
Ben Wilson from GoCompare.com says: “If you’re looking for savings in 2016, switching providers for everyday financial services products and household utilities can be an easy way to slice hundreds of pounds off your outgoings.
“The market for insurance, banking products and energy is highly competitive and there are some attractive deals to be had. However, these offers are frequently used to attract new customers rather than reward loyal ones. So it’s important to regularly review your finances to make sure that you’re not paying over the odds as an existing customer.
Wilson adds: “Last year saw an increase in car insurance premiums and this upward trend is expected to continue into 2016, but different insurers price their products differently so there are potentially still savings to be made.
“Motor and home insurance customers will also see an increase in their renewal premiums as a result of last November’s increase in Insurance Premium Tax – from 6% to 9.5%. The tax, paid as a percentage of the premium, will hit those paying higher premiums hardest. Therefore, we recommend that people shop-around and compare quotes from lots of different providers when their policies come up for renewal.”
The comparison website warns that people are often caught out when they sign up to a product with an attractive introductory rate, but then fail to review the arrangement before the end of the offer period. For example, when a fixed energy tariff expires, customers are automatically transferred to their suppliers’ standard variable tariffs, which is typically more expensive than the fixed deal.
It says that people who shop around for the cheapest deals can save over £200 on car insurance and nearly £300 on energy bills.