Research published by has revealed that with the average insurance premium standing at GBP283 - Brits could have saved at least GBP26 million if they had shopped around to avoid a premium hike in excess of inflation at renewal.

The research has found that almost two-thirds of Brits stayed with their existing home and contents insurance provider at their last renewal. This is despite almost half seeing a price increase and a massive four million homeowners seeing increases in excess of inflation.

Of those that saw an increase in excess of inflation – just 16% made a claim on their policy in 2007 and only 5% increased the level of their cover – suggesting over three million homeowners simply took the price increase for granted.

Worryingly, only just over one in five admitted to thinking about moving their policy, despite seeing a price increase above inflation. Also – only one in 12 shopped around and discovered they couldn’t get the insurance cheaper anywhere else, suggesting many could have saved money.

Of those that stayed put – only one in two felt their insurance company told them of the increase in good time to allow them to look for alternatives.

Paul Baxter of, said: The message behind this research is clear – many millions sleepwalk through their insurance renewal allowing their insurer to increase premiums unchallenged. Regardless of how loyal you are to your current home and contents insurer – you should shop around at each renewal to make sure you get the cheapest and most appropriate insurance for you.