Shopping for insurance, the good the bad and the ugly


Shopping for insurance.  It fills most people with dread.  The thought of hours online or on the phone.  Having to answer numerous questions again and again to get quotes.  Deciding which company to go with.  Not really being confident in what the insurance covers, or assuming too much and becoming bitter and disappointed 6 months down the track when there’s a claim.


We’ve all been there and I feel for you.

In my four part blog I’ll look at these topics:

  1. Why it’s not easy to shop around
  2. Why it’s so difficult to comparison shop
  3. An easier way to shop for insurance
  4. Why put another person in the middle of your shopping process


Why it’s not easy to shop around

I’m an insurance broker.  Why do I do what I do? It could be my previous life as a school teacher, or that I like pitting my wits against the insurer on a daily basis, but I think ultimately I just like trying to simplify problems for my clients and shed a little light on what can be a complex legal contract.

Most people I talk to are in the middle of buying a house or new car and one of the many things on their to-do lists is to sort their personal insurance. Generally they will look to get a discount by buying multiple policies from one company, which I think is a great idea.  But the idea of having to call several companies and provide the same info over and over again seems daunting and rather soul destroying for them.

Understandably most people put it off for days or weeks until they finally spend an afternoon or evening getting online to request a quote or calling for a phone quote.  Then the inevitable happens, follow up calls to call centres, and having multiple quotes from different companies that vary by several hundreds of dollars.


Comparing policies is ugly

But comparing policies on anything other than price can be pretty confusing.

  • Should you go with the cheapest?
  • If you do will you regret it if you ever have to make a claim?
  • Do all policies cover the exact same stuff?
  • Why did one insurer think you needed one type of coverage, and another think you needed a different type of coverage?
  • Why do different insurance companies call the same cover different names?

And it comes up every year...

12 months later, you’ve got to do it all over again.  When every one from a well wishing work colleague, family or friend to a neighbour will recommend calling several insurance companies in order to get your bill down after which you can give yourself a victorious fist pump and save some money.

This is actually good advice, but, by the time 12 months have whizzed by, it’s just easier to renew and pay than it is to spend another afternoon calling several companies, repeating the information they already have and waiting in silence and anticipation as your precious time dwindles away. And then it’s still not over. You’ll probably have follow-up questions, because you forgot about that sports equipment you now own, so you have to call back.


If this sounds familiar, it’s because it’s not easy to shop around.

It is incredibly hard to compare some of these policies, since they can be written in confusing ways.

Does it cover that new sports equipment at replacement value or indemnity value (what it would be worth after depreciation)?  What is the maximum cover for all sports equipment, in case it all goes in one event?

And if you go with the cheapest, is the company really reputable? To find out, you’ll need to do a lot of additional research.


If you talk to a broker, they can take care of all this confusing, labour intensive and mind boggling work for you and make it easy to understand. If that sounds useful then give us a call.

Or if you’re not convinced yet, check back for the next part of this 4 part series next week.


Part 2 - Why is it so difficult to comparison shop?

Part 3 - An easier way to shop for insurance



By Stu Cooper, previously National Domestic Manager @stu_cooper


About the Author

Name: Rothbury        

Like many of our business insurance clients we're a majority NZ owned company that was started by enterprising Kiwis in 1950. Today, New Zealand is a different place to when we first started. As a consequence, the way…
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Like many of our business insurance clients we're a majority NZ owned company that was started by enterprising Kiwis in 1950. Today, New Zealand is a different place to when we first started. As a consequence, the way we respond to your business and personal protection needs has evolved and matured.

While our core business is still related to creating the best insurance solutions for you, our motivation and passion now lie in being unconditional advocates for our diverse range of clients. In other words people like you.


Disclaimer: The articles published on this blog are designed to provide general information and do not take into account any individual’s particular circumstances. We recommend that you obtain professional advice on your requirements before making any decision about a financial product.

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