That is me above, right now. It isn’t, obvs, but it might as well be.
So, regular readers will know that back in January another car drove into mine. Not nearly as dramatic as it sounds, I was stationary, he was doing 3 miles an hour. The damage to my car was minimal and as my car is seven years old I debated not getting the damage repaired at all as it was only visible in certain lights. I wondered if I might just call the guy that hit me and ask if we could sort it out amicably, without the need for insurance companies. After all he was in his eighties and to my mind was unfit to be driving if he couldn’t see me sitting in front of him when he pulled away from the junction. Me making a claim would make his premiums rocket as he was clearly at fault. But as I mentioned in this post, why premiums are so high, that is against the terms of my policy, I HAVE to notify the insurance company of any accident even if I don’t make a claim.
I called my insurance company to ask if claiming would affect my premium, should I make a claim in the event of a hypothetical accident before I actually said there had been an accident. They told me and I quote “no it won’t if it is a no blame accident”. They assured me that my premium would not go up because I had claimed in that instance, and also I wouldn’t lose my no claims bonus provided I went through their claims process and used their approved repairs.
Not having increased premiums was the key to this because we have a multi car policy so it wouldn’t affect just me, but all of us. We couldn’t afford for the premium to be increased. So with that assurance in place I went on to log the details of the accident with them, and then realised that actually this is all a scam. The insurance companies are ripping us off.
The cost of that claim was artificially bumped up because they decided, not me, that I had to have a hire car for the duration of the repair. Two weeks. Two weeks to repair a small bumper nudge in one door of my car. We aren’t talking a crash, with a wing being destroyed, or the chassis twisted. We are talking a collision at 3mph.
Two weeks to repair, with the hire of BMW being added to the cost of the claim.
I felt bad for the chap who had hit me because that was going to be on his insurance record.
Little did I realise until last week it would also be on mine.
We had to renew Ellie’s insurance as for the first year of driving she was on a separate policy. We looked at the various options for renewal and pretty much stuck to the original terms, with me as a named driver. Except when I tried to pay for it, the transaction was declined and I was told to call the insurance company. Having done that they then said “well it’s because you had an accident, the premiums have to go up so we can’t honour that price”.
Now I admit, I completely forgot when we went through all the questions to tick the box that said I had claimed in the past year, but having done that and confessed I was told the premium would now change (by over £120) because I was “statistically more likely to have an other accident”.
30 years I have been driving. Thirty. First time I have EVER claimed on my car insurance is when this bloke drove into me whilst I was stationary waiting to turn right. And now my insurance premium is going to go up.
All the woman said on the phone when I questioned the fact I had been categorically told it wouldn’t increase my premium was “sorry they made a mistake”. That was it.
Lied more like it.
Through no fault of my own, and certainly none of Ellie’s we are now being penalised for that bloke’s incompetence. And I don’t mean to be rude but when I spoke to him he clearly shouldn’t have been driving. To say he was confused was an understatement. And I am now paying for that. Despite them assuring us this would not affect my premiums or my no claim bonus it is.
So we told them to remove me from the policy and put Bruce as the named driver instead (leaving the policy in her name as it always has been as the car is hers).
I was incandescent with rage. We have to notify the insurer, and we have no choice but to use their processes, and then they can pluck a figure out of the air when it comes to renewing out policy. Quite frankly we are screwed. Over the proverbial barrel.
How on earth I can be statistically more likely to have a crash when I only do 2000 miles a year and never drive having had even one drink is beyond me. I haven’t had a claim in 30 years, have only had had one parking ticket and two speeding tickets (neither of which were in the past ten years).
The whole insurance industry needs investigating. I am loathe to put on the web what I really want to say for fear of being sued but seriously, right now, this all feels like a massive scam.