Where have you been?? New customers always get better deals than loyal customers these days.
Regarding automatic renewal, I've just found out that I've had two simultaneous policies on the same car with Direct line thanks to them automatically renewing after I had taken out a new policy with them (at nearly £200 cheaper). Possibly my fault but I've always asked them to NOT auto-renew but clearly I got caught out by not paying attention. Fortunately they've fully refunded the more expensive policy.
A tip for the future though, if you pay with American Express, they won't auto-renew.