Just before Christmas, we received our latest insurance bill.
It was for home, contents and rural liability - and it left my wife and I stunned.
It was nearly $500 more than the year before. And the year before was about $350 more than the year before that. This amounted to a rise of about $850 over two years.
We use brokers because I believe they provide the best policies and cover, although not necessarily the best price.
More importantly, if I did have to claim, the broker would represent me and hopefully ensure my claim was processed without any hassles.
But this time I questioned if I had this right, and began getting quotes directly from insurance companies while challenging our broker to produce a better price.
I received two quotes but found these insurance companies offered different policies with different types of cover. It was confusing, and comparing them was a nightmare.
Yes, their quotes were cheaper but did that mean I was getting a better deal?
The answer lay in the detail of the maximums they would pay and the extras they covered.
My broker then came back with a vastly improved deal. The catch? I had to increase our excesses.
The quote was still more expensive than the others I had, but close enough to keep me as a customer.
But for some people, insurance is a hefty expense they struggle to pay for, and the problem is about to get worse.
As we report today, local brokers are warning insurance costs could rise up to 40 per cent this year.
These rises are likely to force some people to cancel their insurance or, like me, opt for higher excesses.
Tauranga budget advisers see a lot of people who don't have any insurance.
When it comes to putting food on the table and paying the power, it is easy to see how people would take a chance, hoping disaster never strikes.
But what a high-stakes gamble, especially for people who have a mortgage. It could leave them with no home, and owing the bank a fortune. It's a risk I could never take.
Today's article is a warning for people to think how they might cope with the rises and whether they will need help.
It's got me thinking - and I am not looking forward to my next insurance bill.