Miss Loveton, please stop with the zebra moves and retake your seat!
Right, now we’re all settled I can tell you that the topic of this week’s post/lesson is……car insurance. Yes, you did hear me correctly – car insurance.
No, I haven’t lost my mind, at least not entirely. It was a pretty close-run thing when I tried to tackle the confusing logic of the UK car insurance market. I’m not sure how it works in other countries, but we have a number of price comparison sites that are meant to take all of the hard work out of getting insurance quotes.
Sounds easy enough, doesn’t it?
Well that would be a resounding ‘NO’.
I have just spent the best part of two hours filling in forms on comparison websites, some information which I doubt is even relevant to an insurance quote. It would be fair to say that the only things they didn’t ask me for were my inside leg measurement and the length of my hair. And do you know what the worst thing is? It was even a policy for myself!
I’d offered to look for insurance quotes for my mother’s new car as she is not exactly tech-savvie (and that is putting it mildly). There are a few tricks that you can use to ensure that you get the cheapest quote possible, such as adding experienced named drivers and requesting fully comprehensive insurance rather than Third Party only (insurers assume you’re less likely to have an accident if your policy is fully comprehensive). It also used to pay to be a female driver, until an EU ruling in 2012 declared that it was unfair to penalise young male drivers for being at a higher risk of having an accident (because a lot of young male drivers caused the vast percentage of accidents).
God bless the EU and the sanctions they place on the Great British public….
Apparently, insurance companies take a lot into consideration when it comes to offering their services to you. Insurers can make judgments on you based on whether you’re a home owner, where you work, what hours you work, the area you live in. The list goes on and on and you would think that the majority of price comparison sites would have similar calculations to each other.
Quite how the price comparison sites and insurance companies work out their final prices is beyond me. I spent hours adding and then removing named drivers from the policy in order to get the cheapest quote and was alarmed to find how quickly the prices rose when I added or removed someone. What made it even more confounding was the fact that a named driver with no penalty points actually puts the price up instead of down (one would assume that driver is considered a fairly good, considerate driver and therefore less likely to have an accident).
The first price comparison site I visited quoted a final price that was nearly £500 (that was the cheapest. The highest quote was for £3258 – the car is only worth £1800) and yet the next site I visited (where I entered pretty much the same information) gave a cheapest quote of just under £400. Why almost a £100 difference in quotes?
I’ve decided that these insurance sites are just plucking numbers out of thin air and throwing them out there to see what poor schmuck will take them up on it. Had I the time or inclination to sit down and work out just how in the hell these companies come up with their figures, I’d probably still be here a year from now trying to work it out.
I mean, how hard is it to get a decent car insurance quote? How about I just tell you that we promise to be good and not have any accidents and you give me a quote that doesn’t run into several hundreds of pounds. Wouldn’t that be an easier way of doing things?
It would probably be easier, but then the insurance companies wouldn’t make millions of pounds out of us either.
So here endeth the lesson, pupils: car insurance sucks.