I received a letter the other day.
I get quite a lot of post here. You know the kind of stuff – People trying to get me to sign up with their tacky broadband and begging letters from relatives. It usually all goes in the bin.
This one was from my insurance company.
I was half expecting it, as I know my car insurance is due for renewal. I opened it. I read it. I checked the address on the front. I checked the car details. They were all correct, but the fucking premium wasn’t! €722! Why the hell should I pay over seven hundred yoyos?
I have car insurance for one reason and one reason only. It is not to protect you lot against me, but to protect me against you lot. Occasionally, I have accidents where the other person isn’t insured, so I need protection. For example, there was the case of that old woman last month. I was driving home after a nice skin full down in the pub, and this bitch had the audacity to dent the front of my car. I don’t know what the hell she was doing, walking on that footpath in the dark but I successfully sued her for damages to my front light and wing. Of course she wasn’t insured, so I had to claim off mine.
Therefore, I have full comprehensive insurance and quite a few nice little additions. As the actress said to the bishop – you can’t have too much protection.
I rang the company yesterday.
I got talking to a very nice woman and she confirmed that the figure they quoted was correct. I told her it couldn’t be. I then told her I had received quotes from other companies for as low as €300. I hadn’t, but how was she to know that?
She hummed and hawed a bit and there was a clatter of computer keys.
She muttered about my being with the company since 1972 and having a 37 year no claims bonus, and I could hear she was getting very worried.
‘Can I phone you back?’ she asked me.
I told her she could and hung up.
Half an hour later, the phone rang, and it was my friend back again.
The upshot is that I now have fully comprehensive insurance with full no claims protection, windscreen protection, roadside assistance and a couple of other gizmos for the grand price of €450.
I did a scout around the Interweb after, just to see was on offer, and in fact, I did quite well. I have actually got the cheapest premium for the deal I wanted.
Who says it doesn’t pay to haggle?
I tried that with my insurance company and was told – “If you get a cheaper quote with someone else take it, we won’t be reducing your premium.”
I have never claimed, no penalty points and the price makes my lip quiver just to think of it.
Mornin’, I saw your directive on twitter & thought I’d take a tentative peak in. You did good and I’m sure you were having the time of your life as u haggled ! Sometimes I give these folk a hard time for the fun of it,survey people offer up the best conditions for it tho. I’m glad u’r premium was so drastically reduced & the haggling paid off. Since u weren’t such a dirty little old man as last story that jumped out at me when I read u on my feed,I’m going to put u back on the feed. I’m prepared now…….meaning I can’t ever really be prepared for what u might say, oh, and are u selling insurance ? See ya, Sandi (ktsnanny)
@Maxi – I got the exact same reply when I tried that as well.
Maxi & Robert – It sound to me as if the two of you lack my charm and charisma.
Welcome Sandra!! Directive? It was merely a little tweet? And as for me being a dirty little old man – I am highly offended. You must have mixed me up with someone else? I do enjoy the odd haggle on the phone and am always delighted to greet cold callers, or people doing surveys. I think they must have learned their lessin though as they don’t ring much these days.
You have hit the perverbial nerve: why in the hell didn’t the insurance whores give you the best price in the first place? As always insurance companies try their best to rip us off unless we ask. God I just realized that you have just provided a great public service to your cyber clan: “you don’t know the answer unless you ask!” I put the insurance sluts just below the politicians and probably they are sharing the same rung on the ladder to hell!
John O – I did wonder about that myself. Every year, when I get my renewal notice I query it as a matter of form. I am always successful at getting a couple of quid off, but this one was the most successful yet. The problem with insurance companies is that they make up the premiums as they go along, with absolutely no hard and fast rules. I do try to provide a service here!!!
Insurance is a nice racket. They make donations to political candidates, once elected the politicians make insurance mandatory. If they get a small claim, they simply raise the premiums to compensate and if there is ever a large number of claims such as a earthquake, flood, or hurricane, they either go out of business or get the government to bail them out. I actually pay more for insurance on my cars then I do for gasoline.
I had a similar situation.
Was insured with Allianz. Got renewal notice and despite having no claims it had gone up from €470 last year to €550.
Shopped around and managed to get a great deal from 123.ie.
€370 all-in with break down assist etc etc.
They don’t come up on those cheap quote sites as that is a site for brokers. I rang them to make sure there wasn’t a mistake but there wasn’t. They told me that the mainstream insurance companies had put their policies up 20% this year but they hadn’t!
Suggest you have a look at them before signing up!
I’m back ! Didn’t mean to give off the wrong vibes earlier,just didn’t know the correct term, now I know. I should have said your suggested “link”.(I’m new at this,cut me some slack,ok?)Now about the dirty old man comment.I had just put u on that feed thing, on my home page.My hubby was near so I could read to him some of your writings (cause u’r funny) It happened to b the letter from that lady & u commented thru out in your dirty old man self, shocking me and my hubby.Know you now, won”t be shocked next time.
It’s a well known ploy here to raise your second year premiums hoping you’ll just blindly pay the cover. We renegotiate our insurance (on three cars mind!) every year and always get a much cheaper quote than the renewal price. Very naughty revenue raising tactic by the insurance companies and frankly, I’m not sure it’s legal! You done good.
Jim C – Thank you for depressing me. YOu made me think, and I too spend more on insurance than I do on petrol [even with Irish inflated petrol prices], I would estimate that I spend around the €400 mark on petrol in the year.
The Blind Man – I saw that 123 crowd, and went for a detailed quote, but when I added in full no claims protection [as destinct from step back] and a few other things, it was much the same as the lower quote I got from my crowd. I could have saved a few quid but the hassle of moving wasn’t worth it.
Sandra – You are indeed back. Don’t mind me – I wasn’t giving out. You were shocked by my response to Irena? I am surprised. You should read back on some of the stuff I have written! 😉
Baino – It seems to be the same here. Think of a number and quote it, just to see if the customer notices. The two things I always haggle over are insurance and oil. It passes the time.
Free travel pass. That’s all I’m saying 🙂
* goes back to travelling all around the country for free *
TheChrisD – I’ll have one of those soon enough. I must say that when I met you, you didn’t look like you were over 65? You’re keeping yourself well.
Not to be cheeky, but has your premium been sneaking ever higher since you reached a certain age? It’s all about demographics and I think they like to imagine that older people have more accidents. But the prices also seem to be quite arbitrary and are often just a matter of the salesperson reaching certain quotas on any given day. They might give you wildly differing quotes from one day to the next. I use a broker to get my deals and, oddly enough, it does seem to save me a bit of money. I think I’m paying about 550 for comprehensive at the moment, which isn’t bad at all for a 27 year old who’s only been driving a couple of years.
Andrew – Nothing cheeky there? Apart from the usual inflation/price hikes and the like, my premiums have been coming down over the years. I have kept a fairly sharp eye on them and query it each year.