We can always rely on Which? to keep us posted about the latest tactics of car insurers in what can be a minefield of information. And just in case you don’t get their magazine here is a review of their latest findings (March 2012 pp55-57).
1. Those who shopped around in 2011 paid 18% less than those who settled for the first quote.
2. Sharp rises in premiums were often dropped when challenged – without any apparent reason.
3. The average Which? consumers paid for their car insurance policy was £343 and in many cases those who found cheaper insurance didn’t have to jump ship – all they had to do was ask their current insurer to match the lowest quote.
4. Even those who queried a price over the phone were able to trim the premium by £15, without having an alternative quote.
5. Some 70% didn’t negotiate and paid more than they needed to.
6. Beware optional add-ons you don’t need such as eSure’s charging for ‘free’ Motoring Legal Protection after Year One without drawing this to your attention. Other insurers like Churchill will offer a free hire car in the first year of a policy (we preseume this is to replace your in the event of an accident) but this is reduced to a 10% discount the next year and should be removed from the policy.
7. Firms offering ‘free’ breakdown cover will usually have asked for your credit card to make renewals easy and less noticeable in subsequent years…
In a nutshell, women drivers really do need to be foxy to negotiate a fair price for car insurance… and that’s before the discriminatory EU ‘gender equality’ Directive comes into force this December.
I am not at all surprised that so many Which? consumer panel members are tired with shopping at comparison websites. It is tedious, wastes hours and defeats the common sense principle that insurers should reward existing customers not neglect them in favour of attracting new ones through discounts.
As Which? sees it, many insurers are guilty of not stating the premium you paid last year in their invitation to renewal letter. It’s as if they know the increases they are suggesting are unreasonable.
Looking on the bright side however, here are the top ten insurers that Which? recommends and FOXY supports, based on 54 different policy considerations. I am delighted to see that customer service is alive and well, depending on who you choose as your insurer…
1 NFU Mutual
4 John Lewis
5 The Co-operative Insurance
7 50 Plus Insurance
8 Marks and Spencer
10 Sheilas’ Wheels
with the biggest samples coming from SAGA and LV.
Wouldn’t it be nice to turn back the clock to the days when High Street insurance brokers knew their stuff and offered that oft missed element of personal customer service. Well, maybe they do and we should try them out as well as or instead of the comparison websites…
As an example, my son used my browser recently and all the comparison websites he visited quote his name when I go back to them. It never fails to irritate me – a human being would never get us confused!
PS: If you’d like FOXY to keep you posted about the EU’s Unfair For Females insurance plans you can either
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