I have to confess that I have been extremely lazy with shopping around for insurance, as I moved into my home five years ago from new and set up all of my bills, accounts, direct debits and insurance which has automatically renewed each year, ticking along nicely and not bothering me at all. I know what goes out, what comes in and how much I have spare, which is just how I like it; routine, structure and safety. That was until my two year old son Gabriele fell in love with a cartoon meerkat called Oleg who pops up in a TV advert before Coronation Street each evening, and thanks to him he’s saved me hundreds of pounds in insurance in just a few clicks!
I’d always had the opinion of insurance being insurance, it’s entirely uninteresting but everybody has to have it, with companies competing to have your business so surely their prices have to remain competitive, as they’re all providing the same cover just under different names. After a busy day the last thing I would ever want to do is trawl the internet for insurance quotes, filling out horrendous forms over and over again online for a minuscule saving that wouldn’t be worth the handling fee to switch, or being hounded by over-enthusiastic salesmen with clip boards begging for my custom in the street. It’s not worth the hassle, I detest chasing quotes and would rather not have the bother of sending off paperwork and contracts to mess up or invalidate my cover in the meantime. Which is exactly why I needed to listen to my two year old son pointing up at a squeaking cartoon meerkat.
Compare The Market, or Compare The Meerkat as the furry story goes, is a price comparison site which pools together hundreds of insurance quotes for whatever your needs may be. You spend a few minutes inputting your details and then click a search button which delivers every applicable quote directly to your screen. Goodbye hours of trawling insurance sites with confusing jargon and varying terms and conditions, and hello straight forward and simple savings.
So after my son Gabriele 2yrs, and daughter Millisent 7yrs, took a trip to the safari park they became obsessed with meerkats. My car and home insurance renewal plopped onto my doorstep a few days ago, and after seeing the adorable adverts of a cheeky and cheerful meerkat family on TV I remembered that you can get a free meerkat teddy when purchasing insurance through Compare The Market, now that’s the power of advertising at it’s finest isn’t it! Therefore, wanting to please my children’s new found love for meerkats and lighten the load on my purse strings I had nothing to lose by taking a look at their site for a few minutes and I’m so glad that I did.
Let’s start with my car insurance. I had my renewal come through from LV, Liverpool Victoria, for £393.89. For this I had comprehensive insurance for 9yrs protected no claims, legal expenses and a courtesy car. I opted out of having breakdown cover, foreign use or personal accident cover as these all cost extra, and I only really use my car to do the food shop once a week so I didn’t see it as necessary.
Via Compare The Market I was provided with a whole list of car insurance quotes starting from just £272.56, but some of these didn’t provide protected no claims, had a high excess or had to be purchased as a single transaction and not by direct debit. I therefore chose a policy by Tesco Bank for £357.20.
My new car insurance policy with Tesco Bank is for comprehensive insurance with exactly the same cover and excess, only my policy now has breakdown cover included, is £36.69 cheaper and comes with a free meerkat toy which costs around £50.00 on eBay so I am a very happy shopper indeed. I was then able to choose a free meerkat toy, for which we decided upon the new limited edition Safari Oleg and have been advised that it will arrive in a couple of months time.
Feeling rather proud with my savings I then turned my attention to my home insurance. As we live in a rented property I only require contents cover, which my renewal came through from Fresh at £133.02. Again I entered my details into Compare The Market, hit search and up pinged a list of insurers with varying levels of cover.
My contents insurance with Fresh cost an additional £17.76 to pay monthly, with a £15.00 arrangement fee, however matching the same level of cover to the best quote I went with Halifax for just £64.90 with no extra cost for paying monthly. In total I saved £68.12 by purchasing my contents insurance through Compare The Meerkat which is very nearly half the price of my renewal. I was then able to select a second meerkat toy for my new policy and the children chose baby Oleg again with a little maggot. This again sells for £50.00 on ebay and means that the children have a collectable each that they will love.
I am smiling from ear to ear having saved £36.69 on my car insurance with breakdown now included, and a whopping £68.12 on my contents, making a grand total of £104.81 more pennies in the pot simply for clicking about online for 10mins. As a family of three that equates to a months worth of groceries for us, or a day out at the safari again. If you also take into account the value of the two free collectable meerkat toys for the children, which are a combined total of £100.00 then it makes an impressive £204.81 advantage on simply accepting my automatic renewal and thinking nothing of it as I’ve always done.
Compare The Meerkat is quick, simple and secure to use, it has not only saved me money and improved my insurance cover as a customer, but made my two children incredibly excited to have their very own baby Oleg’s off of the TV. What a fantastic idea and incredible company for which I am well and truly converted, I shall certainly never be lazy with my insurance ever again. Simples! Our two meerkats are on their way to us and will arrive by post in the next coming months so I’ll post a little picture when we receive them.
UPDATE: 10/11/14 The Meerkats Have Arrived!
Today both of the baby Oleg meerkats arrived via the post, each in a separate box tucked up nicely with a passport and certificate. The children absolutely adore them and Gabriele takes them everywhere with him. What a lovely little treat for the little ones, all whilst saving money.
And as if to tempt fate, just a few weeks after taking out the additional breakdown cover with my new car insurance policy, the coils in my car decided to blow when were were out shopping half an hour from home, but thanks to my RAC cover on my new cheaper policy with Compare The Market they fixed it at the roadside and got us home safe within half an hour. So it’s smiles all round in the Kiss household. Thank you meerkats!