One of the necessities I’m afraid, and my topic relates to car insurance.
Hubby is the current policy holder with me as a named driver. Purely by accident (pun, not an actual event), we discovered that personal No Claims Bonus is lost after 2 years if you don’t take out another policy beforehand, so since then, Hubby and I have been taking it in turns to be the policy holder and named driver so that we can keep both valid.
NCD, as the name suggests, used to be calculated on the number of years without a claim, but it has now been given a Maximum of 9 years, so even if you have 40 years (like me), someone with only 10 would get the same discount.
Of course like all insurances, the Tax Man wants an additional cut and so the Insurance Premium Tax has increased from the original 2.5% when introduced (Oct 1994 to March 1997) to 12% (as from June 2017) over the years.
- 1 April 1997 to 30 June 1999 – a standard rate of 4%
- 1 July 1999 to 3 January 2011 – a standard rate of 5%
- 4 January 2011 to 31 October 2015 – a standard rate of 6%
- 1 November 2015 to 30 September 2016 – a standard rate of 9.5%
- 1 October 2016 to 31 May 2017- a standard rate of 10%
- From 1 June 2017, the standard rate is 12%
- 1 April 1997 to 4 January 2011 – a selective higher rate of 17.5% on certain types of insurance arranged through certain suppliers of other goods and services, in line with VAT
- From 1 August 1998 – the higher rate was extended to all taxable travel insurance, regardless of the type of supplier
- From 4 January 2011 – the higher rate rose to 20%, in line with VAT
Soon it will all be up to 20% in line with VAT (but don’t say I said that).
Hubby’s renewal quote was over £80 cheaper than last year, so that was a good thing. However, in order to switch, it’s not a simple case of changing over the names in the relevant boxes, but applying for a new policy for the policy holder-to-be.
Classified as new business, sometimes you can get some excellent introductory deals, other times the premium is off the charts for our budget. Gender is not supposed to make a difference. Yeah, right.
We rang the insurers first thing yesterday morning, explained what we wanted to do, and gave them all the relevant information (which they already had on file from when we insured through them last year, but obviously had to check).
They promised to get back to us in a couple of hours.
By 2pm, we’d heard nothing, so rang them back to discover ‘our guy’ was talking to another customer and the girl took our details saying she would get him to call.
Eventually, he rang at 4.30. You can take this as he deliberately left it late in the day in the hope to clinch the deal, or he’d been very busy.
The quotes he’d managed to find with me as the policy holder were considerably higher than that for Hubby to renew his existing policy, so he was going to try and find some alternatives and would give us a ring in the morning.
As it happened, I’d had an email from another company giving me an estimated quote in my name which was over £50 cheaper than Hubby’s renewal, so I gave them a call today.
The price I was finally quoted was a little more than their estimate (change of address probably), but still forty pounds less so I asked her to put the full details in an email so that I had something to refer to for a like for like check off.
An hour or so ago I had a call from our original guy and the best he could offer was £10 more than Hubby’s quote. I thanked him very much and said I’d got an alternative for £208 which appeared to have all the perks of his policy.
After a slight surprised pause, he asked if it included breakdown and legal cover. I said it had the latter but not the former, but seeing as we’d taken out an independent roadside assistance policy when we were house hunting last year, we didn’t need it.
Profuse apologies followed as he had literally gone for identical perks for my new policy and could tweak the figures to get the price down by not having it.
I’d like to point out here that we were not aware that we actually had it (why else would we have taken out an independent breakdown policy, which was only £30 anyway so nowhere near the £90 they were asking).
The bottom line is he got the cost down to £194, but the excess is £100 more than my other quote. So, he’s gone to tweak again on that Great Computer in the sky and I’ve asked him to send the details by email.
In short, Companies want your money, and these days it pays to shop around. Some of the comparison websites are very good until you get to the small print and discover things like you’re not covered to drive to and from a place of work, you have limited mileage, or your excess is exorbitantly high.
We’ve got a hospital appointment tomorrow, so plenty of time for emails to arrive, then over the weekend we can go through them both side by side and compare them.
All we want is peace of mind that we are covered in case of an accident, will not lose our NCD, and a courtesy car will be provided free of charge should ours be off the road for repair.
If I heard him correctly, the insurers he has quoted us for are the same ones we left three years ago when they only had three options as to where the car was kept overnight:
In a garage, on our drive, or in the road.
We were in a gated and secure private marina car park at the time, but they classed it as In the Road, and their renewal premium was over £400.
I went to the AA and got full all-inclusive cover for £136.
Whereas insurance companies are obviously a business and therefore want to make a profit, it is also a competitive industry which is in your favor. A lot of people get into trouble with insurance because they do not understand what is/is not covered and, as with anything else in a our world, one generally gets what one pays for.
Insurance companies have to assess risk. i.e. what is the chance of the policy owner putting in a claim. To do that over here (presume similar there), they want to know your age and driving experience of course; where you live; where you work; where you car is “stored” etc. Age is relevant to accident risk. Living in the city increases minor accident claims. Commuting in heavy traffic increases chance of claims. Storage may be a theft factor. Type of vehicle also a theft factor.
One should always “shop around” as it keeps “the other companies” on their toes, but be aware of what is/is not covered … especially when comparing prices. You may be getting coverage you do not need (sounds like your situation), or you may not be getting what you want. The down side of negotiating insurance is that the company will make cuts to get your business. The onus is therefore on “you” to ensure that you end up with the coverage you expected. 🙂
Exactly Colin. That’s why I always like a paper copy of what’s on offer so that I can check and cross reference, especially as I get confused with telephone conversations when they bombard you with this, that and the other, when sometimes that’s not what you want or need. I feel sorry for the 20 somethings whose premiums are over £1000, but age and experience does count, and some people get round it by going on Mum or Dad’s policy as a named driver to gain experience.
Hmmmm… I wonder if insurance works that way in the US, too…. must investigate this!
You never know. I’ve been known to butter up the company by saying their service is brilliant and I really don’;t want to leave, but……………. I got £20 knocked off that one!! My Dad always used to say, if you don’t ask, you don’t know what you might be missing out on. I’m careful with money (we have to be actually) and not afraid to ask for discounts! Good luck!!
Hiya I’ve nominated you for the Real Neat Blogger Award because your posts are really interesting!! The details can be found out on my blog. Happy Blogging! 💕😊 XX
Hi BriN. Have commented on your blog and scheduled my post for tomorrow.