Olivia Antoniou, 26, recently shopped around to get a better deal on her car insurance and she ended up saving hundreds of dollars. Picture: Rob Leeson.
Olivia Antoniou, 26, recently shopped around to get a better deal on her car insurance and she ended up saving hundreds of dollars. Picture: Rob Leeson.

How to save hundreds of dollars on your car insurance

WHEN Olivia Antoniou received a notification to review her car insurance premium she was shocked to learn the annual cost had climbed by $300.

The 26-year-old accountant was paying $1400 a year for comprehensive insurance on her 2011 Ford Focus, but when it shot up to $1700 she decided to seek out a better deal.

"I had a reminder in my phone that the bill was coming so it made me take action," she said.

"I'd never had a crash and the price rise was much more than inflation, so I wanted to negotiate to get a better premium."

She went online to compare other insurance companies and then called some rival providers to see what offers she could get.

Ms Antoniou ended up paying $980 with a new insurer, saving herself more than $700.

It's important to keep reminders bills are on the way to help you save.

Whether it's by doing it the old-fashioned way and penning it in your diary or calendar, or, as Ms Antoniou did, setting a reminder in your phone.

She used the free GetReminded app, which made her spring into action.

Olivia Antoniou, 26, recently shopped around to get a better deal on her car insurance. Picture: Rob Leeson.
Olivia Antoniou, 26, recently shopped around to get a better deal on her car insurance. Picture: Rob Leeson.

The app's co-founder, Silje Dreyer, said many people "set and forget" with their bills.

"We leave it to the last minute to pay it and we don't know when to look for a better deal or when our contract expires," she said.

"Often people pay their premium for the next year without shopping around to see if they can lower their yearly costs."

Bills including fixed home loans, car and home and contents insurance and telco plans are among those deals in a set contract that eventually expires.

Ms Dreyer said "it's too late when the bill arrives in the mailbox".

"That means you need to set yourself reminders and look back at what rates you are paying," she said.

"See if there's a better deal out there with a particular provider or even just call the provider, which might mean picking up the phone and asking them what they can offer you given your contract is ending."

Financial adviser Scott Haywood said consumers should make a note of when major bills - especially those they pay annually such as car insurance - were due.

"Generally Australians are lazy and just pay a bill from whatever direct debit they have and they don't check the cost," he said.

"Every six or 12 months you should do a spring clean of your finances or money."

He said diarising major bills in your phone, diary or on your calendar one month before they were due was a good plan of attack.

sophie.elsworth@news.com.au

@sophieelsworth