King of Excellent (according to Scaryduck)

Sunday, August 6

The only insurance is to have no insurance...

Insurance companies in my opinion are parasites, taking advantage of the law and charging whatever they like because they can. When you need them, they will wriggle and squirm to avoid paying out. They all give the impression they’re cheaper then the next company, but only one can be cheapest. They all give you perks, such as free courtesy cars, roadside recovery, or 10% off if you buy online. They are more then pleased to take your money, but when you want to see some of that hard earned cash back they will tell you that it’s not the second Tuesday of the month or you’d failed to wear pink on the day of the accident, so they don’t have to pay out.

For many years I was with Endsleigh. Endsleigh were set up by students for students, and so if you have an academic background then they like you. There I am, working in a college as an adult education tutor, so they love me. I have to admit, they were cheaper then anyone else, and by a long way. It all started to go wrong when I had an accident. My pride and joy, my old Volvo 440 T5, had a design fault and the steering broke. That, understandably, wrote the car off. Volvo phoned me one Saturday morning, and admitted that the car had a design fault. They said that my insurance wouldn’t be affected, and expect the good news in the near future. When it came to my renewal, some 6 months later, I noticed how my 3 years no claims discount had miraculously disappeared. I phoned Endsleigh and they enlightened me that I’d had a blow out, and the accident was partially my fault. So they’d removed my NCD, and my premium rocketed again.

Now when I first went to Endsleigh, I told them I like to restore cars. I want insurance to cover me 3rd party for any vehicle, owned by me or not, so that if I buy something at an auction I can drive it home legally. I was told that this would be added to my cover, and at a cost (surprise surprise). When I got my insurance documents, I got out the microscope for the small print, and sure enough in there, there is a mention on being insured for any vehicle, 3rd party only. It didn’t mention if the car had to be insured elsewhere, or owned by someone else, and to be sure I phoned my local broker. They said everything was fine, and so I left it at that. Some 4 years later, and I get stopped and asked to produce my documents. Imagine my surprise when it turns out I’m not insured. I take it to court, and plead my case. The judge says that if I can get my insurance company to back me up then I will be let off. I go home, phone Endsleigh’s head office, complain a lot, only to be told that it’s “not their problem.” So, through no fault of my own, I get done for being uninsured. Apart from the fine, the only other punishment I face is having an IN10 and 6 points on my driving licence, something that makes getting insurance very expensive. So Endsleigh benefit again.

I moved insurance company last year. Can you blame me? I shopped around, with most companies offering me insurance around the £580 mark. I eventually get a quote from the AA for £414.72 and the only quote that seems to be cheaper is Endsleigh (£300) so I go for the AA. Everything’s fine for the year, and this week my renewal notice appeared. Imagine my surprise when I open the letter to find this year’s renewal notice is £414.72. It’s exactly the same as last year, even with an additional years worth of no claims. I phone them laughingly, expecting it to be a mistake, but it wasn’t! So I tell them where to get off, and go looking elsewhere. I find a lot of companies offering me prices cheaper (in fact almost all of them), and surprisingly the Post Office comes up trumps. They even give £50 cash back, so my next year’s premium is basically £234. I’m covered for any vehicle as specified, I’ve had a local copper read into the small print and he concurs with me that I am covered. I have to admit I haven’t told my insurance company the truth about my mileage. Apparently if you do more mileage then you get quoted on, then you have to pay an excess of £100 in the event of an accident. I have to pay an excess of £100 anyway, so I reduced my annual mileage to less then a 1000 miles a year. I do that normally about every fortnight, but my premium was some £120 less anyway!

Insurance companies = cowboys, the lot of ‘em.