Chris Heaton-Harris MP (Con, Daventry) with Peter Plumb, MoneySuperMarket CEO.
Car insurers who automatically renew your cover when it ends are costing you money, and if you live in the Midlands or the South East of England, you could be hit worse than drivers anywhere else.
Our research has already found drivers who don’t shop around are missing out on £1.3 billion worth of savings every year when their policies are automatically renewed by their insurers.
Now a regional breakdown of the data reveals that where you live has a weighty effect on how badly you’ll be hit.
Auto-renewals cost English drivers in the South East the most (£307 million), followed by those in the Midlands (£240 million), South West (£150 million) and North West (£137 million). North of the border in Scotland, savings lost because of auto-renewals total more than £32 million, while motorists in Wales are missing out on savings totalling £21 million.
Here’s a breakdown of how much each region is losing to auto renewals:
With a general election looming, we also looked at how the constituents of key political party figures such as David Cameron and Ed Miliband compared. Motorists in the Prime Minister’s Witney constituency are missing out on potential savings of up to £2.7 million by falling prey to their insurer’s auto-renewal tricks.
Alan Campbell MP (Lab, Tynemouth) and Peter Plumb discuss the auto-renewals report.
Meanwhile, Ed Miliband’s driving constituents are being ripped off by car insurance providers to a lesser extent than Cameron’s – but motorists in the Labour leader’s North Doncaster powerbase could still save up to £2 million.
The PM’s Lib Dem coalition partner Nick Clegg represents the Sheffield constituency of Hallam, where drivers could shave £1.66 million off their insurance policies by giving auto renewals the boot.
And while George Osborne attempted to balance the books in last week’s Budget, policyholders in his Cheshire constituency of Tatton need to follow suit and save up to £2.3 million by avoiding auto-renewing.
‘Many motorists have no idea’
Dan Plant, editor-in-chief at MoneySuperMarket, said: “Auto-renewal tricks are costing the nation’s drivers dearly, and need to stop. “Motorists in the South East may be the worst off currently, but the whole industry needs shaking up to help stifle the tricks of the trade. “Many motorists have absolutely no idea that they’re agreeing to auto-renewal when they purchase their policy in the first place, and insurers can often make it difficult for customers to avoid renewing.”
We’re taking a stand
MoneySuperMarket is leading the charge against auto-renewals, and recently launched an eight-point plan to challenge the industry and stop customers wasting their money. It includes suggested improvements such as drivers being asked whether they want to opt-in to auto renewals or not, and forcing insurers to clearly show you how much you paid for cover last year so you can see how much more or less expensive the renewal price would be.
We’re campaigning hard for urgent change, and many MPs have backed our calls for industry reform. But as and when your car insurance comes up for renewal, you should take power into your own hands and decline to auto-renew your policy until you have used a comparison tool to shop around for a better price.