About one year ago, I was looking for side projects in parallel to my job in order to increase my monthly income. I had read the famous book “The 4-hours work week” from Tim Ferriss and was plentiful of energy and willingness after that.
While searching and exploring various money-making ideas, I came accross another way of thinking: start looking for savings opportunities instead of always looking for more money to come in. Thanks to the blog of Mr. Money Mustache, I changed my mind completely. Modifying your spending habits is bringing you so much more benefits like more wealth, more health, more happiness, that I tend to prefer this way of getting richer than the former one. You should really give it a try!!!
At the time, I was owning a Citroën C5 V6 which was very pleasant to drive and big enough for our family travels here and there in Europe. For the non-European readers to whom Citroën doesn’t sound familiar, this car brand is well-known for its very comfortable vehicles (not that true anymore with their latest releases, though).
Being young and new to Swiss administrative stuff, I trusted - with too much ease - my insurance advisor when he told me that a CHF 10'000 car was worth a full insurance as I didn’t have too much reserve ‘stash in case I would splash my car onto a wall.
V6 engine and full insurance made it to a nice CHF 2'250.-/year - reading this figure more than one year after having done the change makes me yelling!
After 1.5 years of paying that much, I started looking into possibilities to lower this amount - as I wasn’t ready to switch to a more efficient and less powerful car at the time (like one of these).
While I was analyzing my insurance’s competitors, I needed to know my various contract details to compare it and see the differences between insurances’ policies so I dove into my folders.
Doing this research and dissecting each line, I noticed that I was over-insured like many people. Why you ask? Because of a tiny tickbox for a - useless - parking insurance coverage… like seriously, who gets his car scratched on parking places here in Switzerland?!? Result: un-ticked and already a few CHF saved per year! Next!
By comparing my own contract and the one of my wife’s previous car (that we sold after realizing how stupid it was to have two cars - especially in Switzerland), I found out that my other half, being 2.5 years older than me, was having more bonus. Ergh? Really?
I got back to my own insurance online calculator and I chose my car specifications, unticked the useless parking insurance, and then entered my wife info - birthdate and driving license obtaining date being the decisive ones for the bonus calculation.
All in all, that made a decrease from CHF 2'250.-/year down to CHF 1685.-/year!!! Yes, you read it well, it made a CHF 565.- difference!
Just by using my wife respectful age power (and switching the car ownership to her name of course)!
And thanks to some money-god sympathy, it happened that I renewed my contract online, which at the time was rewarding you with a free Swiss motorway sticker (French and German = “vignette”) for the following year, worth CHF 40.-.
The lesson learnt: if you got lucky enough to be married, moreover with someone older or younger by some years, check your car insurance policies. That might get you richer in the end of the day!
This advice can actually work in a lot of areas such as: mobile phone plan, special rate on bank savings’ account, car rental, special discount on certain plan/product for female people, etc.
As Mr. Money Mustache says here: “Practice Constant Optimization in all areas of your life”; don’t get to think that everything you subscribed months or years earlier can’t be changed, or shouldn’t. With all the technology tools we have at disposal these days, you can very easily compare, unsubscribe and re-subscribe somewhere else, within few minutes and some clicks. If you happen to just arrive in Switzerland, you must check the best Swiss comparing tool: Comparis.
Note: if you live in Switzerland, instead of optimizing your car insurance policy, your best choice would be to sell your car NOW and use the awesome public transport network we got here. Future blogpost to come to dive more into this topic. Stay tuned.