IT doesn't pay to be loyal; it pays to be disloyal.

Companies are moving away from discounting based on the length of time you've been a customer. Some will even slip in an increase unrelated to any change in your risk profile because their boffins have noted you simply renew each year.

So you should consider moving away from them.

Health insurers offer new customers one month's free membership pretty much as standard; if you push you can get six weeks off. That's a saving of more than 10 per cent, or as much as $400 for a family.

It is almost impossible to get 10 per cent off with your existing provider.

So be disloyal. Move. Negotiate to get any new waiting period waived.

Play hard. They do.

I did all of the above earlier this year.

And I'll do it all again next year.

This investigation is part of #Lifehacks, a project by the News Corp Australia mastheads giving readers everything they need to know about the financial matters that impact us all - right down to scripts for securing better deals, dream jobs and more. Rolling out day by day across this week, the topics are mortgages, energy, insurance, cars, credit cards, super and salary - and you can find it all here


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