Yep it’s true, your insurance company is a rip-off merchant – they all are – and if you speak to nice man at the AA he agrees with you!
Evidence? Oh you want evidence do you? Right then…
Just recently I received renewal letters (well actually I didn’t, I got a letter and some emails that said I would be sent them) for 2 car insurance policies I hold. Actuallyl I had to log in to my “account” and then download the pdfs of the renewal “invitations”, as they are called these days. On that description – invitation is hardly the correct word, especially if you’re promised one via email or letter and they never arrive!! I prefer the term “warning letter” as in if you do nothing we’ll just take your money!
I noticed that one of these policies showed an increase of 20% in the premium and further to that it showed the details of a “no fault” claim (there was no “claim” they were informed for information purposes only (a 3rd party company dealt with things) and it also stated in a box called “Recovery made” the word YES! Now this was plainly wrong so I decided to call the insurer to try and understand things better…that was a mistake!
The very nice man on the other end of the phone simply couldn’t or wouldn’t give me a reason as to why my premium had increased by 20% – I have to say at this point that in a previous year I had been given reasons why the premium had changed so I wasn’t buying this lack of information. Whilst this call was ongoing I also read the other policy renewal invitation and to my “surprise” it showed that the premium had actually fallen by 2.5%! WTF!!! Naturally I enquired as to why this might be – all the while the nagging thought that the bastards had upped my premium because of this “no-fault claim”! So I pressured for an answer, I want to have the details.
He said he would need to place me on hold, briefly, while he discussed the matter with his boss. Well it was a bit longer than “briefly” but eventually he came back and gave a list of factors that the underwriters had told him – inflation, the fact that my car was no longer made which made the parts more expensive, the rate of crime etc etc. Given that the other policy had shown a decline it was a simple matter to rebutt the majority of these and the only obvious factor that might have had an impact would be the price of car parts – but since the car had stopped being made in 2008 this also seemed unlikely.
As it was clear, to me, that the increase was purely down to the incident in March of last year (interestingly this was before last year’s renewal which didn’t show a 20% increase – rather a significant decrease!) which presumably had finally filtered through their system and perhaps some form of “recovery” was indeed made – albeit not to my knowledge!!
I have asked them to supply me the details of why the think my premium should be increased by 20% and will in all likelihood pass the information to the insurance ombudsman for action.
So why am I taking this hard line and calling all insurance companies rip-off merchants? Well that’s simple.
Well my next move was to tell eSure – yes it was them – to *** off and cancel both policies and then hit the search engines looking for a new deal.
Having entered all my details into multiple comparison sites ( I did try Direct Line but their premium was just a joke – how they can justify their advertising claims to Trading and Advertising Standards departments I do not know!) it seemed that the AA was the best deal. I clicked to complete the deal on the AA site but I got a message saying that their system had thrown a wobbly so I’d need to call – so I called.
The very nice man from the AA took the quote number and got the details pdq. He was able to tell me that the date I’d entered for the end of my existing policy was out by one day so he amended that and then said OK he had to things check against an industry database…..guess what…he informed me that the no-fault claim was there and then quoted me a price which was 20% more than the price I’d been quoted online!
I expressed my concern that the information on the database was causing the extra cost to em – and he agreed, said the same thing had happened to him last year and said he agreed with me that this was rather sharp practice. So there we have it the reason my premium was increased. I’m still going to see what bullshit eSure come out with to support their version of events and yes I’ll still send the information off to the ombudsman.
Why? Well in a no-fault situation when you’re either happily driving along the road or as in my case stationary in a line of traffic you are not causing anyone any problems – it just happens that you are on the road. Now when you request your policy you have to input how many miles you will be doing in a year and unsurprisingly the more you do the higher your premium – well that’s perfectly logical – there’s more chance of you being in an accident the more time/miles you spend/drive on the road. So why isn’t this where the risk of a no-fault accident is covered off?
Personally I think that stinks, I think it’s profiteering and it’s a total rip-off and I don’t believe that the insurance industry should be able to get away with it any longer – that’s why I shall be bringing this matter to the attention of the Financial Ombudsman – if you want to do the same here’s how!