Neil shared his story with A Spokesman Said (it contains a lesson for us all). Here’s what he told us:
I have an interesting story concerning car insurance; something I know you have a keen interest in, though it is a little long winded! I will try and condense it best I can so here goes:
Daughter Grace, aged 18, passes her driving test over two weeks ago and asks nicely if we could look at helping her get a new Renault Twingo car (thankfully she did not want a better or more expensive car!).
Various insurance checks online undertaken. Best deal we can find initially is £1,050 through Insure Your Box and for an 18-year-old new driver think that’s not too bad really, so let’s go ahead with car purchase. Car ordered.
My wife and I have a multi-car policy with Admiral with 6 months left before it renews so rang Admiral to see if they can add Grace to the policy and hopefully it will be cheaper. Go through to Customer Service Call Centre in India. Just for the next 6 months ONLY we are quoted £1,450 – more than many had quoted us for a whole year!
Go online with Admiral to get a price for Grace on her own on a new policy just to see if the price would different. Over two days putting in the same I was quoted anywhere between £1,330 and £1,100 for the exact same policy with Black Box for a year; much cheaper than my quote for adding Grace to our multi-car policy.
Contact Admiral Customer ‘Non-Service’ and ask why the big difference in quotes; lots of lame excuses so make a complaint and nothing done. Just an excuse that the quote I asked for in October to add Grace to the multi-car policy was “based on the rates from when you accepted the cover in April, which are not the same as the current ones”. Trying to say the cost of insuring a Twingo in October compared to April was now some £1,800 cheaper!
The Manager went on to say the 6 months’ quote of £1,450 did not include a Black Box (they never gave me this option when I rang initially) and was done on a Direct Debit basis (again I was not asked if I wanted to pay for her in full). Hence, they were trying to justify their inflated cost of £1,450 over 6 months (equivalent of £2,900 per year) compared to the cost of £1,100 or so online for the new policy was down to differing “factors” (they loved this word) now compared to April, plus a small amount for paying credit than in full (maybe £130 or so?) and the fitting of box (normally saves £300-£400 per year).
I went back online and, having had FOUR differing quotes with Admiral in a few hours, get one for £958 when adding my wife onto the policy (higher prices previously of between £1,300 and £1,100 were still with her on!). Save quote number until we officially get Grace’s new registration number.
Get that through. Ring Admiral to accept the £958 quote before they change their mind.
Representative notes we have multi-car policy. Asks if she can quote us starting a new policy where Grace is insured for one year and we join mid-way through when our policy runs out in April. Tell her we have already had a quote but she says they seemingly did not quote or offer me the option for taking out a new policy for us all, even when part-way through another year cover.
Very nice friendly Customer Service Representative Welsh lady then quotes us for when ours runs out (29th April) to the period when Grace’s runs out next October (six-month period for us, full year for Grace). So basically, a new policy goes out in Grace’s name starting now and we add on to the policy when ours runs out in April.
She quotes for Grace £710 for the YEAR starting now and one of £200 in total for my wife and my cars for the 6 months from April to October next year adding on to Grace’s policy! (Karen and I currently pay something like £600 for the year on our multi-car policy so a big saving). We all still get no claims each year.
I bite the representative’s hand off, quickly pay, and jump in the hot tub with the wife in a state of shock and ecstasy!
Never mind us, but £710 to insure a brand new 18-year-old girl driver on a brand-new car is fantastic but why the hell was I quoted virtually £2,900 when I first rang for her to be added to our existing policy and why was I not offered this when I complained? Why couldn’t they just say take out a whole new policy with Grace?
The lady I dealt with last just had to be diplomatic and bite the bullet concerning the company.
The whole thing has been absolutely ludicrous.
It has probably cost me more in phone calls and the time taken in online quotes than what I saved, but now I know why you campaign so hard to get people to keep pushing regarding car insurance.
It is a big racket to go from virtually charging us £2,900 pro rata per year if I had accepted the initial quote to £710 per year eventually. I just wonder how many people have done just that, accepted the first quote and been ripped off in the process. I have no idea how Admiral’s prices can vary so much?
Keep up the good work.
This article is care of a Spokesmansaid.com the original article can be found here.
The also provide a price comparison service on insurance and fuel providers, well worth a look.