MOST people now check the insurance renewal quote they get from their insurer before they sign up for another year.
And the majority of people shop around for car or home insurance every year, according to a survey conducted by iReach Insights on behalf of Galway-based broker Acorn Insurance.
The fact that so many are now questioning the renewal quote they get from their insurer and are checking out the market is a blow to insurance companies that make their largest profits on those who are reluctant to shop around and move their custom for better value.
The survey found 74pc of all adults check online for an insurance quote before making a phone call to an insurer.
And 67pc of adults shop around for car or home insurance every year.
In terms of value for money, over half feel their insurer or broker gives them good value for money.
However, fewer people in Dublin feel they get good value for money compared with those in the rest of Leinster.
The survey was done in conjunction with the launch of Acorn Insurance’s mobile first website www.acorninsurance.ie.
Acorn Insurance chief executive Barry O’Sullivan said that over the last year, especially, more people have discovered the benefits of going online for day to day tasks that they previously would have done in person.
“Our survey shows that 74pc of adults check online for an insurance quote before making a call.
“It's good to see that customers are shopping around for quotes for the insurance cover that they require so that they can ensure that they are getting the best price possible for their needs.”
He said the finding that most adults shop around for their car or home insurance every year confirms that customers are constantly on the look-out for the best available offer and online is definitely making it easier for them to compare quotes and look for best value.
Publicity around the practice by insurance companies of imposing loyalty penalties on customers appears to have alerted consumers to the need to shop around.
So-called dual-pricing involves punishing those who are loyal to an insurer with higher premiums as they often do not shop around for better value.
A ban on the practice is to be introduced in Britain.
The move is likely to increase pressure for a similar ban on what is also called dual-pricing here.
Central Bank of Ireland regulators are considering whether to recommend a ban of the practice after an initial report it published last September found that that dual-pricing across motor and home insurance policies is more common than insurers have admitted.
The survey findings come days after European regulators charged Irish insurers with breaching competition rules by restricting competition in the motor insurance market here.