my money story
JAMES O'Donovan, from Cork, is a serial switcher. He switches electricity, gas, car insurance, house insurance, mortgage protection insurance and health insurance at least once a year.
He also switches broadband provider and refuse collection provider, but less often – maybe once every three years on average.
And in case he forgets to review a service, he puts a reminder alert on his smartphone.
He recently saved his family a total of nearly €1,000 on three switches: €250 by switching from VHI to Aviva Healthcare, €248 on gas and electricity, and €408 on his mortgage protection insurance.
"Switching is easy and once you've done it a few times, it becomes even easier," says Mr O'Donovan, an Irish software engineer who has recently written a book entitled 'How To Save 5000, this year and every year'.
"But make sure you do it every year to get continued savings, unless you're locked into a two-year contract."
But is it not a lot of bother?
"It is a bit of trouble each year, no doubt, but it is well worth it," he says.
"It has become a habit now and I don't even think about it. For five to 10 minutes' work online, I can save €50 – €100 on my car insurance. Where else can I get €100 for 10 minutes' work?"
But if he keeps switching, does he not get inundated with junk mail or emails?
"I've never gotten junk mail as I always make sure I tick, or untick, the checkbox asking not to be contacted with marketing material," he said, and anyone cold-calling is instructed to take his name off their lists and not to ring again.
Irish Independent Supplement