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Supermarket Sweep ; (1)Moneymail(2)How Can You Get the Best Value Insurance? From Your Car to Your Pets, We Compare Policies From the Big Four Supermarkets

Apr 10, 2007


SUPERMARKETS have been selling insurance and loans alongside sausages and beans for the past decade. They promised to revolutionise the way insurance was sold by offering simple, cheap products. So have they kept their promises and can you find cheaper elsewhere? Here ROSANNA SPERO trawls the aisles for the best deals.


IN ORDER to compare deals from the four biggest supermarkets, we devised the Money Mail model family - a father aged 44, his wife, 41, and their two children aged 14 and 11. They have a two-year-old pet Labrador and a three-year-old tabby cat. Dad drives a Peugeot 406 estate 2.0HDi and Mum drives a Vauxhall Zafira 1.6i.

Home is a four-bedroom semidetached house in Bishops Stortford, Hertfordshire.

CAR INSURANCE MOST people buy comprehensive insurance, which covers both their own car and a third party if they cause the accident. It also covers the policyholder's car should they accidentally damage it and there is no third party involved.

Policies cover your public liability, personal injury and personal possessions. Some also cover legal advice and provide a courtesy car as standard. Others offer these as optional extras.

ASDA: The policy offers only the basics. There is no cover for personal belongings and if the courtesy car option is chosen, a small hatchback is supplied regardless of the size of car being repaired.

Peugeot: Pounds 274.17 Vauxhall: Pounds 198.98 Marks Spencer: Policyholders can take UK and European breakdown cover. A free car hire/ courtesy car comes as standard, as does legal expenses cover.

Peugeot: Pounds 279.53 Vauxhall: Pounds 252.92 Sainsbury's Bank: Offers a courtesy car as standard, along with cover for personal belongings and up to Pounds 200 worth of Sainsbury's shopping. Legal cover costs extra.

Peugeot: Pounds 322.27 Vauxhall: Pounds 253.76 Tesco: There is a basic value policy which, for example, does not have cover for windscreens or stereo systems and does not include a courtesy car. The standard policy comes with personal belongings cover, but legal cover and a courtesy car are optional extras.

Peugeot: Pounds 276.15 Vauxhall: Pounds 231 Shopping around: According to, an online search engine, the best cover for the Peugeot 406 came from More Than at Pounds 251.02. This includes a courtesy car, but legal cover costs extra.

For the Vauxhall Zafira, the most competitive quote came from Budget at Pounds 167.84 - again with a courtesy car as standard, but not legal cover.

VERDICT: Shopping around beat the supermarket prices - but don't rule out Marks Spencer's policy because, while more expensive, it comes with valuable extras as standard.


YOUR home is covered by two policies - buildings and contents.

Buildings insurance covers the cost of rebuilding your home, not its market value. You can choose to buy accidental damage cover and legal expenses as extras.

Contents insurance covers your belongings in the home. You can add on cover away from the home and accidental damage cover for an extra premium. It is normally cheaper to buy buildings and contents from the same insurer.

ASDA: WIth contents cover, accidental damage to home entertainment equipment is automatically covered, but this does not include computers. You need to pay extra for wider accidental damage cover, possessions away from the home and bicycles.

Accidental damage cover is also available as an add-on through the buildings insurance. Legal expenses cover costs extra.

Combined buildings and contents insurance: Pounds 170.40 Marks Spencer: Offers Premier and Standard combined buildings and contents cover. The Premier policy has full accidental damage cover, while the Standard has limited accidental damage cover.

Cover for legal expenses and possessions away from the home cost extra.

Combined buildings and contents insurance: Pounds 198.21 Sainsbury's Bank: There is a 20pc discount if you buy combined buildings and contents cover.

Contents policy has limited accidental damage cover. Personal possessions away from the home and legal expenses cover are also extra. You do not need to give a sum assured for the buildings insurance, but you do for the contents cover.

Combined buildings and contents insurance: Pounds 134.82.

Tesco: No sum assured is needed for buildings insurance, though you need to know the value of your possessions for contents cover.

Combined buildings and contents insurance: Pounds 147.95 (up to Pounds 1 million buildings cover, Pounds 23,600 contents).

A 35pc online discount and free annual worldwide travel insurance also included.

Shopping around: According to, the best value policy from the whole market came from the AA at Pounds 220, with unlimited building insurance and up to Pounds 40,000 contents cover.

VERDICT: Supermarkets win hands down. Sainsbury's cover is cheapest, while Tesco offers good level of cover.


TRAVEL insurance needs to have adequate limits for medical emergencies - a minimum Pounds 5 million if you intend to visit the U.S. You also need to make sure that limits for luggage and cancellation and curtailment are high enough for your trip. Make sure you disclose all medical conditions or you could invalidate the policy. Policies can be bought per trip or annually.

ASDA: Medical cover Pounds 2 million, but you need to buy add-on cover for your baggage, personal possessions and winter sports.

Two weeks in Europe: Pounds 51.21 (without luggage cover) Annual worldwide cover: Pounds 128.79 (without luggage cover) Marks Spencer: Medical cover of Pounds 10 million; cancellation and baggage cover at Pounds 6,000. Winter sports costs extra.

Two weeks in Europe: Pounds 36.75 Annual worldwide cover: Pounds 109.06 Sainsbury's Bank: Medical cover Pounds 10 million; cancellation cover at Pounds 5,000. Winter sports costs extra and you have the option of taking out baggage cover.

Two weeks in Europe: Pounds 57.84

Annual worldwide cover. Pounds 162.41

TESCO: Medical cover of Pounds 2 million and only Pounds 2,500 cancellation cover. Winter sports costs extra.

Two weeks in Europe: Pounds 49.99

Annual worldwide cover: 124.99

Shopping around: Looking online.

Direct Travel offered much better value insurance with Pounds 10 million medical expenses, and Pounds 3,000 cancellation limit for just Pounds 21 for the single European trip while travelplan online charged Pounds 70.71 for the annual worldwide policy. VERDICT: Online research easily beat the supermarkets for both annual and single trip travel insurance - and the limits were generous.

PET INSURANCE: INSURANCE needs to cover vet's bills and third party liability if your pet injures someone or damages their property. You may want to consider taking out holiday cancellation cover if you need to cut short or cancel your trip as your pet needs lifesaving surgery.

ASDA: Cover pays out for only Pounds 1,500 of vet's fees per injury or illness. Pet owners need to pay extra to cover liability, holiday cover, extra vet fees and a reward if the pet is lost.

Cat: Pounds 73.72 Dog: Pounds 125.77 Marks Spencer: Policy pays out up to Pounds 7,000 per year and includes rewards, travel cancellation, payout on death and complementary therapies.

Cat: Pounds 97.24 Dog: Pounds 177.02 Sainsbury's Bank: Policy pays out up to Pounds 6,500 per illness or injury, plus rewards, death cover and travel cancellation as standard.

Cat: Pounds 75.05 Dog: Pounds 215.66 Tesco: Offers Standard Cover and Pet Extra Cover. Pet owners get vet's bills up to only Pounds 2,500 and Pounds 4,000 per condition respectively, and need to add on cover such as third party liability and holiday cancellation.

Cat: Pounds 53.76 Standard Dog: Pounds 85.56 Standard Shopping around: According to online comparison site, our family could buy their dog Pounds 3,500 of vet's fees plus third party liability and other add- ons for Pounds 106.50 with EL Insurance's Silver policy. Their cat is Pounds 59.50 for the same

policy, but without third party liability.

VERDICT: Tesco wins by a whisker for cat and dog cover.

LIFE COVER: WE ASKED for Pounds 150,000 of level term life cover running for 25 years, written on both parents' lives and to pay out when the first one died.

Policies are identical with all the firms, so it comes down to price.

ASDA: Pounds 42.44 a month Marks Spencer: Pounds 43.64 a month Sainsbury's Bank: Pounds 40.46 a month Tesco: Pounds 44.03 a month VERDICT: Insurance broker Term Direct's best price was Pounds 40.22 a month through Legal General.

Stuart Bayliss of Term Direct says: 'Periodically, one or other of the supermarkets offers a good rate for a period of time. You can usually do better through an independent adviser because they can offer a discounted rate.' PERSONAL LOANS OUR family wanted to borrow Pounds 10,000 over five years and had a good credit record. The best lender can simply be chosen on price, but watch out for early repayment charges.

ASDA: Pounds 192.16 a month (5.9pc APR) Marks Spencer: Pounds 194.35 a month (6.4 pc APR, includes option to defer payment for three months) Sainsbury's Bank: Pounds 196.77 a month (6.9pc APR) Tesco: Pounds 195.50 a month (6.7pc APR) Shopping around: According to, the best rate is 6.1 pc offered by Bank of Scotland, with a monthly repayment of Pounds 193.25.

VERDICT: It is always worth checking as rates change often, but all the best buys had penalties for paying off early.

(c) 2007 Daily Mail; London (UK). Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning. All rights Reserved.

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