I don’t think there is anything that cannot be insured, and even if there was, somebody would find a way round it to take it on AND MAKE MONEY.
Obviously in the UK we have to have the important things like Life Insurance, Property and Possessions Insurance, Pet Insurance, Vehicle Insurance and for our friends in the US, Medical Insurance is a must.
Here, the dreaded PPI (Payment Protection Insurance) fiasco is setting the banks back MI££ION$ to compensate those that took it out having been mis-sold the product.
Hubby and I are sick to the back teeth of receiving emails and text messages from companies or third parties we have never had any dealings with wanting us to sign on to claim compensation for PPIs we never had.
Last week I had a phone call about ‘my claim’. I said I didn’t know what they were talking about and asked how they got our mobile number.
The guy told me it was in their database so I asked whose name it was under.
Of course they never tell you that, and when I pressed for how he got our number, he said again it was in his database against our claim. I told him straight that it was wrong because we had only had this phone for three days.
Surprisingly, the line went dead.
However, that is not what has got me so incensed that I could crush a grape, jump on a box, or rip up a telephone directory (arthritis permitting).
That accolade goes to the Car Insurance company we have been with for the past 8 years.
When we had two vehicles, we had insurance in our own right with each as a named driver on the other’s policy. This meant we could drive either car with full comprehensive cover and protected no claims discount.
When we moved here, naturally we had to inform the insurance company and paid an additional fee of some thirty pounds each for the update.
My insurance came up for renewal in January, but as I had sold my car and didn’t have another, I advised the company and it was allowed to lapse.
Hubby’s insurance is due for renewal this month. For once the company got their act together and put the details in the post a good month before the due date.
His premium for the year was £40 more than last year and over my budget of £200, so we decided to shop around.
Note: Actually you should do that as a matter of course anyway then if you get a cheaper quote, tell your original insurer (playing on their greed for your money by saying you don’t want to leave them) and they may well match or better it.
Also we wanted the policy in my name now with Hubby as a named driver.
We had some interesting figures come up on the internet BUT machines lie as they are only as good as the information you punch in, so we decided to go to an old fashioned broker office and talk to a real person.
Ian was terrific, and said the figures he had weren’t that much cheaper. The cheapest we’d found on the internet was on his screen but the company did not cover vehicles for people living on a boat (as if we have a garage or drive on board to park it).
Anyway, he offered us a discount on his best quote which knocked the premium down to less than £200.
We were making progress.
Trying to ring our existing insurers, we had to listen to 5 minutes of adverts before being put on hold. Five minutes later we hung up and sent them an email.
After three days we sent another message, and finally got a reply saying they would call us if we let them know a day and convenient time, so we asked for 11am the following morning.
We waited until 3pm, then went out taking the phone with us.
Nothing, so we sent another email voicing our dismay at being let down.
We arranged another day and time, and still they did not call us.
I sent an email saying they obviously didn’t want our custom, and even if they had called us on either day at a different time, I was not prepared to discuss personal business in a field, on the High Street or in a supermarket. I gave them until close of business that day to ring and discuss the matter.
We had a very apologetic phone call at 6pm, saying Somebody had forgotten to tell Someone Else and so Nobody did it.
Putting in my details, they came up with a quote of £324. I nearly died of shock and Hubby had to take the phone away as I was stuttering, stammering and shaking beyond belief as this was almost DOUBLE what my renewal fee had been in January!
He pointed out our details were the same as before, apart from me being the policy holder and he a named driver. He queried the extortionate quote asking for it to be sent by email so that we could look at it.
Bloody cheek, they had added 24% to the premium for installments, even though I said I would pay it in one go!
Another email followed and a young lady called the following afternoon.
The quote of £324 was correct, and she couldn’t see where 24% had been added.
It would also appear they have a new computer system (yeah, Cons-R-Us), and their options for overnight parking were Garage, Drive or In The Street. Our secure locked compound on private property qualified for the latter (read hike up the premium).
I told her that her company was likely to lose an awful lot of customers because of this limiting software (not blaming her personally of course) and we were one of them.
Speaking to a boating friend, they suggested the AA.
We filled in the form on-line and got a quote of £134.46. I rang the freefone number from a call box in the High Street, and got put through to a lovely young lady who confirmed my details, answered my questions about living on a boat and where the car was kept overnight, and assured me their quote was correct.
She understood perfectly about privacy and security issues and offered to call me back at home later that afternoon when I’d had a chance to think about it and talk it over with Hubby.