In the last couple of weeks I’ve had to do what many people have to do, usually once a year. Renew my car insurance and my gas and electricity supplier. In the near past, legislation has been introduced in the UK, designed to help consumers make the right choice, more easily.
I like LV, my current Motor Insurers and when the renewal quote came in at circa 10% increase, with an assurance it was the lowest available, I hesitated for about 10 minutes and then decided just to accept it. The thing is, my salary increase for 2022 has only gone up by 2%, yet I accept a 10% increase on my car insurance as being OK. Amazing when you think about it and the fact that just about everything else that I buy this year will have increased in price by more than 2%.
The gas and electricity bill was much more of a challenge. The car insurance was an easy, ‘take it or leave it’ choice. This energy renewal quote, which was from e-on next, whom I also like as a supplier, offered alternatives of a fixed rate or fluctuating rate. Over the last year or so, a lot of UK energy supply companies have failed and I have no problems with e-on next, so I decided I was going to stick with them.
That was the first decision made. The second one was not so easy, as I don’t have a crystal ball and neither do any of their other customers. Fortunately, the quotes supplied for the full year, based on last year’s usage, were a great help. I assumed they were logical and fairly accurate. I am currently on a fixed-price per kilowatt rate for the full year. The quote to stay on it at a new, higher fixed price for a full year, compared to changing over to fluctuating prices, was quite a bit more expensive. I bit the bullet and opted to go for the fluctuating prices deal.
There are a lot of harrowing stories doing the rounds, based on the realities and social consequences of much higher energy costs in future and I am taking a gamble up to a point. However I am assuming my supplier has some idea of how much those increases will be and has allowed for them in their quote.
One thing is for sure, I won’t be checking up in a year’s time, to see if I made the right choice. I will be totally happy in my ignorance and assumption that I have been absolutely correct.
I think the new legislation works very well, considering all of the unknown circumstances that affect energy prices and the fact that suppliers of motor insurance cover, now have to offer existing customers the same rates as they quote to potentially new customers. The old way, of quoting higher prices to loyal customers, was always a frustrating practice, as most people began the arduous task of finding a cheaper quote, which could take hours and then enduring the trauma of changing insurance suppliers.
I hope that readers who have to undergo similar experiences this year, end up making the right choices.
John Lightfoot, Solar Solve Chairman