Brexit uncertainty is making people switchy: Energy Saving

28 January 2019, 09:51

Brexit uncertainty is making people switchy

GoCompare’s annual Switching Report1 reveals a big increase in customers switching with 64% changing providers for at least one of the 10 most common financial products

  • Car and home insurance remain the products most likely to be switched;
  • Energy, credit cards, mobile phones and broadband saw the biggest increases in switching activity;
  • But 24% of UK adults have still NEVER switched any of the most common financial products.

Last year, millions of insurance, household utility and banking customers voted with their wallets and switched providers for at one least of the top 10 everyday financial products, according to the latest research.

GoCompare’s annual Switching Report revealed that 64% of UK adults swapped to a better deal in 2018, with switching levels for all products at a higher level that three years ago.

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

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

Land line telephone

9%

7%

9%

8%

9

ISA or savings account

8%

8%

10%

6%

10

Mortgage

6%

4%

2%

2%

Most UK adults have switched at some point in the past but, 24% of those surveyed admitted to never changing provider for any financial product or service.   

GoCompare’s Switching Report also looked at the average length of time customers remain with the same car and home insurance providers and energy supplier.  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.

Commenting on the research, Matthew Sanders from GoCompare said, “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.  Many people are looking for ways to cut outgoings and we’re pleased to see that the message is getting through that switching is relatively hassle-free and the savings can be significant.

“The notion that ‘loyalty pays’ has been well and truly outed in the last 12 months, with the authorities taking steps to stop rip-off loyalty pricing.  The Government has stepped in to tackle overcharging of loyal gas and electricity customers by capping the maximum rate energy providers can charge per unit of energy and for a standing charge.  While the Competition and Markets Authority have proposed a wide range of corrective measures which could significantly reduce the impact of loyalty penalties on financial products.  It remains to be seen how these initiatives pan out.

“Continued uncertainty over Brexit, the fall in the value of the pound and rising prices present a gloomy financial outlook for 2019.  So, 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.  If you’ve never switched before or haven’t done so recently, you’re certain to save money.”   

GoCompare’s tips to getting the best deal financial products and household bills:

  1. Diary key dates including renewal dates, expiry dates of fixed rates or tariffs, the end of introductory offers. This will give you time to review your arrangements; 
  2. NEVER accept an insurance renewal or energy tariff change without first checking that the new price you are being offered is competitive;
  3. 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;
  4. 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;
  5. Use a comparison website – they provide quick and up-to-date information on a wide range of financial products and services.

-Ends-

For further information please contact:

Anders Nilsson or Louisa Marsden at GoCompare on 01633 654 054 / 01633 655 132

Gordon, Jason or Liz at MAW Communications on 01603 505 845

Keep up-to-date with GoCompare on Twitter; @GoCompare

Notes to editors

1GoCompare’s annual switching reports are online surveys of randomly selected British adults who are Maximiles UK panellists, conducted by Bilendi. On all the surveys, the margin of error-which measures sampling variability-is +/- 2.2%. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current education, age, gender and regional data to ensure samples representative of the entire adult population of United Kingdom. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.

The Year to December 2018 survey was conducted among 2001 respondents on 14 December 2018.  

The Year to December 2017 research was conducted on 29 December 2017 among 2,334 respondents.

The Year to December 2016 survey was conducted on 6 January 2017 among 2,001 respondents.

The Year to December 2015 survey was conducted among 2,001 respondents on 5 January 2016.

GoCompare

GoCompare is a comparison website that enables people to compare the costs and features of a wide variety of insurance policies, financial products and energy tariffs.

GoCompare does not charge people to use its services, and it does not accept advertising or sponsored listings, so all product comparisons are unbiased. GoCompare makes its money through fees paid by the providers of products that appear on its various comparison services when a customer buys through the site.

GoCompare does not sell its customers’ data.

When it launched in 2006, it was the first comparison site to focus on displaying policy details rather than just listing prices, with the aim of helping people to make better-informed decisions when buying their insurance. GoCompare has remained dedicated to helping people choose the most appropriate products rather than just the cheapest, and has teamed up with Defaqto, the independent financial researcher, to integrate additional policy information into a number of its insurance comparison services. This allows people to compare up to an extra 30 features of cover.

GoCompare is the only comparison website to be invited to join the British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

For more information visit www.gocompare.com and www.gocomparegroup.com

Contact Information

Louisa Marsden

louisa.marsden@gocompare.com