Motor Insurance (again)

Motor Insurance (again)

Once again the crusty subject of insuring one’s car rears it’s ugly head.  I cancelled the insurance on the Merc and with 7 days free insurance from BMW I started the process of finding the best, cheapest, quote.  Usual suspects of Compare the Markets, GoCompare and others were queried and the cheapest was Autonet.com (No, me neither).  They came in at £222 and a few pennies.  InsurePolicyRight ho, we’ll have that, and I clicked through to their site only to be met with a message that the site was down and could I please ring a 0844 number.  Okey dokey, I rang the number…..

The young man at the other end confirmed that the site was down, that they had received my application and there were one or two questions before we went ahead.  He then proceeded to ask every question again with a few more besides which was OK but very tedious.  However we got bogged down on the question of the date that I passed my test, the exact date mind, not how many years ago.  I said that it was in 1972 but beyond that I couldn’t say, he said not good enough, an exact date please!  I suggested September 9th, why not?  Seems a very nice date to me.  He suggested that I call the DVLA and then get back to him.  I said that they were unlikely to a) answer the phone within a week, and b) they were unlikely to have that information.  Not good enough he said, an exact date please; we settled on the 9th.  I asked that if I had an accident, and they subsequently found out that the date was in fact the 8th, for example, would my insurance be invalid?  Yes, he said.

One of the questions not on the web form was whether I did any voluntary work.  Yes, I work at Henshaw’s School for the Blind, one day a week, unpaid.  Ah ha! the insurance went up by £50.  Whoa! I said, that’s a trifle unfair, but he was adamant, the price went up.  InsuranceEasyRight, I exclaimed, I resign, I shall cease working as a volunteer, it’s not as if I’ll miss the income!  You can’t do that he said, yes I can, I shall resign immediately and confirm it in writing to you.  He went off the talk to his line manager and returned to say that that would be fine, the rate would go back to what it was, but if I had an accident whilst in the vicinity of the place of volunteering the insurance would be void.

What a load of Bollox, I went and got AXA insurance instead for a similar price.

Insurance Song and Dance..

It’s that time of year again, car insurance renewal. Why is it always such a hassle? I know that websites such as Confused.com and those annoying Meerkats are very good but I just can’t help thinking that I am not getting the right price or deal and that if I ever need to claim then some box I inadvertently clicked several months previously will give the insurance company the excuse to not pay.

In the old days I used to ring my trusty broker Andrew, answer a few questions on the particular car I was then Insurancedriving and leave him to it. At the time there were a couple of companies doing a telephone service but I took the view that I was happy to pay Andrew the Broker a few quid over the odds confident in the knowledge that if I ever needed to claim then he was on my side. There are few Andrews around now, the margins have gone and we are all ‘on the net’.

So why are all the quotes so wildly different? For my car I have quotes ranging from £280.00 to £1100.00. How can the figures vary so much? Insurance is just mathematics, a series of variables set against tested formulae to arrive at a calculation of probability. I am sure that all insurance companies must use the same data garnered over many years of statistics and that their actuaries have honed their skills to produce the risk of a 57 year old married man living in Harrogate and driving 8000 miles per annum etc ect….

“Why is that?” I asked the helpful call guy at of one of the insurers call centres. He tried to explain that different companies viewed similar risks in a different way, and that they ignored certain segments of the market. “So” I said “does that mean that, for example, you could have decided that left handed chefs from Islington driving a Subaru Forester are a bad risk, yet another company could say that they will gladly insure them for a fraction of your price?”
“Something like that.” he replied.

The reason all this comes about is that for the last two years I have used a multi car policy from Admiral, and initially it was a very competitive price. This year their renewal premium has gone up by a large amount and so the annual song and dance begins again.