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Brexit sparks switching surge: five ways to get a better deal

Written by: Danielle Levy
Switching levels have reached a three-year high, ahead of the UK’s exit from the European Union, with close to two thirds of individuals changing provider in 2018.

Comparison site GoCompare’s annual switching report found that 64% of UK adults swapped to a better deal across insurance, household utilities and other financial products.

This caused switching levels across all products to reach a three-year high.

While car and home insurance and household utilities remain top of the list of products most likely to be switched, 2018 saw an increase in activity in 8 out of the 10 main financial product categories.

“Switching activity is continuing to rise, driven partly by price increases in the car insurance and energy markets, but also by the general economic uncertainty around Brexit,” Matthew Sanders of GoCompare explained.

Uncertainty over Brexit, coupled with rising prices, is presenting a gloomy financial outlook for 2019. With this in mind, Sanders pointed out that if you are looking to make savings, switching providers for everyday financial services products and household utilities is an easy and effective way to reduce your outgoings.

Here’s a table outlining the top products that consumers switched in 2018:

Rank Product/service switched Year to Dec 2018 Year to Dec 2017 Year to Dec 2016 Year to Dec 2015
1 Car insurance 28% 27% 22% 19%
2 Home insurance 23% 23% 17% 16%
3 Energy provider 20% 17% 19% 17%
4 Mobile phone provider 17% 11% 14% 13%
5 Broadband 14% 11% 14% 12%
6 Credit card 11% 8% 9% 6%
7 Bank current account 10% 8% 9% 6%
8 Landline telephone 9% 7% 9% 8%
9 ISA or savings account 8% 8% 10% 6%
10 Mortgage 6% 4% 2% 2%

Source: GoCompare

In spite of the positive news, GoCompare found that 24% of those surveyed have never changed provider for a financial product or service.

The comparison site also found that on average customers stay loyal to their motor insurer for 2 years, home insurer for 2.2 years and energy supplier for 2.5 years.

How to get the best deal

  • Put key dates into your diary, such as renewal dates, the expiry dates of fixed rates or tariffs, as well as the end of introductory offers. This will give you time to review your arrangements.
  • Never accept an insurance renewal or energy tariff change without first checking that the new price you are being offered is competitive.
  • Compare prices and headline rates and read the small print. Make sure you’re making like-for-like comparisons and understand all the charges, any penalties, exclusions and terms and conditions you will be required to meet, and that the product is right for you.
  • If you’ve signed-up for a product with an attractive introductory rate, review the arrangement before the end of the offer period – otherwise you could end up paying more in the long-run.
  • Use a comparison website to compare products and services.

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