Belfast Telegraph

Video: Belfast among the top 'switchiest' for insurance and energy providers, saving an average £367 a year

New research released today reveals that the nation is losing billions to home insurance, car insurance and energy providers for failing to shop around.

In the last week alone, both British Gas and Virgin Media have announced huge price increases. British Gas customers will see their electricity prices increase by 12.5%, in a move that will affect 3.1 million customers - Virgin Media’s will see their bills leap 4.7% - affecting up to five million households.

The brand new ‘The real price of being too nice’ report – from Behavioural Economist and Academic Researcher at UCL, Dr Joe Gladstone, research consultancy Populus and GoCompare – shows that despite prices constantly rising, 32% of people have never switched their energy supplier, 28% have never switched home insurance and 18% have stuck with the same car insurer.

1 in 4 consumers have never bothered to switch their service providers. In total people who have never switched services are £2.1bn a year worse off based on energy, home insurance and car insurance alone.

Joe Gladstone said, “In the energy market, lots of default tariffs of energy suppliers are a bad deal for consumers. Consumers can get a good deal if they keep switching every year but the reality is a lot of people don’t know how to do that because they don’t know when it is they need to switch."

Matthew Crummack, Chief Executive Officer of GoCompare, said, “To beat the bills, people need to get bothered and get switching. But industry players also need to address the issues raised here. Financial and energy providers need to communicate more effectively. Letters and bills often aren’t read in detail by the most financially distressed, and so they need to be easier to understand. People shouldn’t receive communications telling them that it’s business-as-usual and that they needn’t take any action, when the cost is actually going up.”

The UK cities with the switchiest people (based on switching savings accounts):

1.    Newcastle

2.    Belfast

3.    Southampton

4.    Manchester

5.    Sheffield

6.    London

7.    Milton Keynes

8.    Norwich

9.    Birmingham

10.   Liverpool

11.   Leeds

12.   Nottingham

13.   Brighton

14.   Plymouth

15.   Hull

16.   Bristol

17.   Edinburgh

18.   Glasgow

19.   Oxford

20.   Cardiff

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From Belfast Telegraph