Fancy a £500 windfall just for checking your insurance at renewal?

Every week, it's the same old, same old.

First, a reader expresses shock (and even disgust) at the size of their insurance renewal quote. It sparks an angry phone call to an indifferent insurer, which in turn triggers an urgent visit to a price comparison site. Big savings then emerge (£100s and even £1,000s) – often with the SAME firm, the cheek – followed by belated realisation that a large company doesn't have your best interests at heart.

This might sound humdrum to many. After all, refusing to accept the first quote at insurance renewal is a MoneySaving staple. But that it's an everyday occurrence is what makes it extraordinary. Slowly but surely, every week hundreds of ordinary consumers nationwide who don't consider themselves at all savvy with money are finally realising they've been had – and it's time for them to do something about it.

It makes all the banging on about companies not being your friend that we do here at MSE Towers worthwhile – so many people pay more than they should as they think they're getting a good deal because of loyalty. Which is pish – loyalty rarely pays. And as we've had such a spate of brilliant successes, I wanted to share one with you.

MSE user Andy Tamlyn this week glanced at his home insurance renewal, only to splutter when he realised it was a whopping £822. After picking up the phone and a spot of online research using our cost-cutting guides, he'd got it down to £317 – a monster £505 saving of more than 60%.

His email to us detailed the well-trodden 'journey' from faithful customer to empowered consumer. Read this paraphrased version for yourself...

"Dear Martin, I've been a loyal customer for many, many years with home, motor and life insurance. I rarely read my mail, just assuming that, as a good customer, when the renewal notice comes around I'll be treated with respect.

"During a clear-up, I saw last year's home cover cost £645.54 – but this year's renewal was £822.35! Incensed, I immediately picked up the phone to be told my renewal was more expensive as I'd benefited from 'introductory bonuses' that were no longer applicable – oh, and that insurance premium tax had also increased.

"Declining a 15% discount on the spot, I got an online quote from the same insurer, but £200 cheaper. OK, I thought, that Martin chap has been pretty good with his tips, so I'll take a look at what he has to say. After just a few minutes browsing the MSE website and getting direct quotes, I got it down to £317 – I double-checked and triple-checked the cover... yep, a whopping £505 cheaper than my original renewal premium!

"Don't be as naive as me – these firms expect you to rest assured that they have your best interests at heart. They don't."

A £500 cash sum is a windfall – a holiday, a savings boost, a debt paid off, Christmas paid for – whatever you want it to be. Andy's candid revelation can be added to the long list of many who have finally realised they've been caught out by the auto-renewal trick played by insurers. But no more.

Don't think this sort of saving only happens to those who need £10k's worth of contents insurance – even having £15k or £20k to insure, you can also save £100s, so everyone should compare.

For more on how you can save money with additional tips, tricks and blagged deals, see our Cheap Home Insurance guide. And if you have a success you want to share, email