My grandad is always very organised and every year when the car insurance is due for renewal he will make sure he contacts the insurer and pays the latest insurance premium.

When my mum recently visited my grandad, the car insurance renewal came up in conversation. My mum asked my grandad if he had compared the latest renewal quote with quotes from other car insurance providers. The answer from my grandad was no. He had been with Saga for the last 15 years and had never had any problem with them.

My mum being a savvy saver decided to help my grandad do a comparison online. She found the exact same policy features with a different insurance provider for £150 a year less than what my grandad had been quoted from Saga.

When my grandad rang Saga to tell them he was about to cancel the policy the person on the telephone gave the usual “you have been a valued customer with us for the last 15 years….” and “let’s see what we can do” speech. Surprise surprise Saga came back and offered my grandad revised terms matching the same quote he had been given by the alternative insurance provider.

So what disgraceful behaviour from Saga taking advantage of my grandad. I wonder how much extra premiums they have gained from my grandad over the last 15 years as he never questioned his renewal quotes?  

Why doesn’t my grandad change insurers each year?

Now my grandad is 80 years old and whilst he wanders down to the shops each morning without fail to pick up a newspaper and then read it throughout the day, he does not spend much time online.

But that’s not really the issue here. Even young people who spend half their life online do not change car insurance providers or home insurance or utility providers for that matter.

We are creatures of habit, we don’t like to upset people and we don’t see the value in spending a small amount of time in order to negotiate big savings.  

But what if I said to you that I would pay you £150 for 10 minutes work? I think most people would jump at the chance. Well it’s the same with spending a little bit of time online to make some massive savings.

Patrick Collinson in his Guardian article highlights research from Consumer Intelligence that shows someone who fails to switch either home insurance or car insurance for 10 years will be paying just over £1,400 more than someone who switched every year.

This is likely to be a massive problem for elderly people like my grandad who might not have the support to help them go online and understand the various terms relating to insurance. They are left accepting whatever quote companies like Saga give them.

You might be a savvy saver yourself but do you help your grandad or nan?

What we’ll be doing to help my grandad going forward

As well as managing our own insurance renewals, we as a family have made a note of each renewal date for various insurances and utilities for my grandad. As they come due we will be helping my grandad to compare online and negotiate better deals.

Over the course of the year I reckon the savings we can help my grandad make will mean he and my nan can afford another holiday each year!

As an alternative, if your grandparents have considered gifting during their lifetime but never felt they had the spare cash to do it, this could be a great way to save money for the bank of grandparents.  

So don’t forget about your nan and grandad. 10 minutes online with them every now and then can save them a fortune and stop them getting ripped off.

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