Now you should know the TV ad, that is the one pretty much that has been on TV for the last few years “Lucky, your with AAMI”, well we are with AAMI and I can tell you lucky I rung them a couple of times when I was sorting out our house insurance in Brisbane.
The usual happened and the house and contents bill arrived in the mail just before the due date and in true fashion it sat in the bill tray up until a few days out from paying and then I looked at it.
I thought it was higher than the last year by quite a bit, I know most bills have gone up, electricity and water too, so I thought I’d just check it out as you know have quite a few choices that you can make when getting your home and contents insurance in regards to different insurance companies offering a lot of different prices and policies.
I looked up our last bill and to my surprise there was a $329 increase in the insurance cost in one year for exactly the same cover.
Now I started to wonder, if the house insurance goes up this much every year soon we will be paying as much as the house is worth every year just to insure the house and what’s in it, so I made the first call to AAMI at around 11.30pm that night.
To my surprise you get a person who answers here in Australia, they advertise this as the case but I didn’t think it would be the truth, that person asked me what I was ringing about and then put me through to the right dept at AAMI.
I wasn’t on hold for long and I got a bright cheerful “Hello” at the other end of the phone and a “How can I help”.
I explained what I had received in the mail and how high it was, the bad thing at this moment was the lady I was talking to didn’t have access to our home and contents insurance details as their computers were down and had been for a while, none the less she was very helpful indeed and told me in the interim if I wasn’t happy with the price of the insurance emailed out to fill out an AAMI online house and contents insurance quote as it’s a cheaper way to go 9 times out of 10, she also gave me a bit of an explanation for the increase in the house insurance too.
I thought this was a funny thing to say considering I was ringing AAMI and then they tell me to re quote myself online as it’s cheaper with AAMI.
So I did, another late night but the quote for exactly the same home and contents cover was around $200 cheaper for me online.
Winning for us, but I was still dubious, so I saved the quote and went to bed and said to myself, I’m ringing AAMI again tomorrow to ask a few more questions while their computer is up and see if I get the same answers.
I called AAMI again late that next afternoon after work, went through the same process of getting directed into the correct dept of house insurance and again I got a cheerful “Hello, how can I help you”.
I explained first that I had called the prior evening and was following up again as I needed to know a few things and these questions about our insurance can probably only be answered by accessing our file.
First up, why has my home insurance bill gone up so much?
I found this out about the rise in house and contents insurance in Brisbane and probably this is the same through all different areas of insurance cover, depending on the suburb you live in and the risk involved with living in that area, this the cause for your house insurance going up.
So, easily put, if you live in an area with a larger amount of claims than the normal, you are classed as living in a higher insurance risk area and so you will pay more and they can validate to the powers that be their increases to be reflective of the risk in each area.
This is where I feel sorry for people in flood areas in Brisbane as they must be getting slammed.
This risk can include all of the types of claims also, flood, burglary, lost items and break downs etc etc.
If you have no claims, you are paying higher premiums to cover for the people that have claimed on their house insurance in your area and probably a small percent of the Brisbane area as a whole too.
I can grasp this and I can understand this too, but I still think it is still a sneakyish way of raising house insurance costs though none the less.
So they answered the first question and I moved onto the next.
Why is it cheaper for me to renew my AAMI house insurance online?
I hadn’t told the lady I had filled out the online quote request until I reached this point of the conversation, she was really good and helpful here too.
She not only told me that 9 times out of ten it probably would be cheaper to purchase the insurance online and then she helped me too by asking me the reference number of the insurance quote so she could make sure the cover was the same and also to see if she could save me even more money.
I was thinking to myself, when is the punch line coming, I’m waiting, I’ve never had this level of service from a insurance company before.
She went through our original quote mailed to us and went through the online one too, she told me how I could save even more money with the contents part of the policy, gave me her quote number which she said was higher than the online quote but the best she could do and then gave me the reference number of the new online quote if I wanted to go online and pay it.
Customer service at its best and I’m in sales so I am talking from experience.
So with new house and contents insurance reference number in hand, explanation of the increase (Which ended up much less after talking to AAMI) explained to me and everything covered I proceeded to go to the AAMI website to the house and contents insurance page, brought up the quote using the reference number, double checked the data and paid it.
I only hope this level of service from AAMI is the same when or if we have to ever claim, I’m sure there is good and bad with every house insurance company, if you offer a service, you get complaints, they go hand in hand.
I wonder how many people just pay them as they come in, I have been guilty of doing this too when we get too busy and I don’t put aside time to check out the insurance quotes and prices that come in, so my purpose of writing this is to let people know to call, if you don’t know, ask and you will feel better and probably end up with a cheaper deal.
I certainly will be from now and at least looking at AAMI online prices in the future for our house insurance.
If you do end up calling other insurance companies for quotes, check the cover is the same and read all the terms and conditions, if it is a really big saving and also very cheap insurance compared to what you are paying now there will be a reason for it with either a higher excess or similar, you get what you pay for in house insurance so if you want it covered you generally have to pay for it.
Make sure you read the terms and conditions on any insurance policy before you commit as your circumstances and what you want your insurance to provide may be different to what we want or need and if you do have any extra questions, call them.
So for house insurance in Brisbane, lucky we rung AAMI as we saved quite a few dollars after we did.