AutoSergei to automatically check insurance deals for drivers
Robot meerkat AutoSergei has expanded his skills to automatically check for new deals for motorists ahead of their car insurance renewal date.
The Compare the Market character already runs automatic checks on customers’ energy tariffs and searches for credit cards based on eligibility.
AutoSergei’s new skillset aims to stop drivers wasting money by letting uncompetitive car insurance policies auto-renew. Compare the Market estimates that more than 6 million people don’t swap providers when their policy ends and are wasting a collective £675m a year as a result.
According to the price comparison site, the difference between the cheapest average premium and the average motor insurance premium currently stands at £110, suggesting that motorists who forget to switch are potentially collectively overpaying by more than half a billion pounds.
Young drivers in particular can benefit from shopping around at policy renewal time. One in seven (15 per cent) motorists aged between 18 and 24 say they often forget to switch insurers. Drivers in this age group tend to pay higher premiums as they are considered higher risk – Compare the Market estimates they can save an average of £226 by shopping around for a competitive policy.
Compare the Market says AutoSergei will save people money by giving them a heads up when their car insurance policy is coming to an end and automatically retrieving their estimated renewal price from some of the price comparison site’s panel of partners.
Customers need to complete a new quote to sign up to the service, which will allow AutoSergei to send them an annual alert about potential savings available 28 days before their policy expires.
Customers will then be given the opportunity to review their information before being provided with their quote results and the choice to switch to an alternative, and potentially cheaper, car insurance product.
The email is sent 28 days before the policy end as customers often receive significantly cheaper quotes by switching before the end date of their policy. According to Compare the Market, the best time to switch motor insurance is 24 days before your policy ends with a policy costing £460 less on average than switching on the day that your policy finishes.
Dan Hutson, head of motor insurance at Compare the Market, said: “Car insurance is a significant expense for many drivers and the cost of cover has risen steeply over the past few years. Nearly a third of motorists say that they struggle to afford the cost of insurance. The most effective way to avoid price hikes is to compare the market for the most competitive provider but taking the time to switch is something many people just forget to do.
“To help combat this problem, we have launched our new feature for AutoSergei which reduces the recurring legwork of shopping around, while enabling people to save time and money. Customers can choose to be informed of cheaper premiums when their policy ends and can switch to a better deal within a few simple clicks.”