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 driving 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.