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The Insurance Dance

Blog Date 21 Jan 2019

It's the insurance game time once more. 

I've had my renewals through. £200 for the CB500X and £107 for the CBF125. I barely glance at the numbers as I know what happens next. I go online, fill in several hundred boxes on a handful of comparison sites and they'll all point back to my original insurer but at a much more acceptable level. 

I'll call my insurer, Hastings and they'll "ummmmm" and "errrrrr" for a while then somehow, miraculously they'll match or even beat the online quote by a couple of quid. It's like an annual dance that I don't want to attend but I figure it'll be worth my while in the end.

Sure enough with Hastings I can get the price down to £143 with full no claims, garaged, fully comp, 12,000 annual miles and business use for the 500. That's much more like it. 

Oddly Hastings is not as cheap as Bennetts for the 125. Hmmmmmm, that's £95 with Hastings and £70 with Bennetts. That's for third party only, 12,000 miles and business use. Why third party only? With a £300 excess I daresay if the 125 was stolen I'd have to pay out to the insurance company...

The lady on the phone to Hastings is lovely, bright, informed and helpful. She can match the online quote but it does take a lot of negotiation and double checking. She can't match for the 125 but is happy to ensure that it does not "auto-renew". It takes almost 3/4 of an hour to get everything sorted but the experience is refreshingly positive. 

As an aside while I have her on the phone I ask about Brexit and EU cover. She's exited as they've just had a meeting and some notes about this so she can help. In the event of a hard Brexit I will need a green card. This must be applied for at least 14 days in advance to ensure there's time to post it out. As yet they have no cost information. 

As for Bennetts I just fill in their online form. Sorted.

In the evening I'm talking to a friend of my experience. Sure enough he's just recieved a renewal from Hastings - £450!! And Bennetts have just quoted him £156. Mental. 

The takeaway is that it's all a game. I do not believe Hastings or Bennetts or anyone else is better, worse, cheaper or more expensive. It's just a case of which way the wind is blowing that day. They certainly do not give a damn about the actual customer, customer loyalty or good service. All they care about is the bottom line, the cash.

Because having insurance is a legal requirement they have us by the short-n-curlies. The best we can do is to dance the annual dance of shopping around and going for the cheapest option. 

I've lost the will to live and ask nicely for reader's contributions. If the mood takes you it's ren@bikesandtravels.com

Reader's Comments

CrazyFrog said :-
When I came to re-insure my three bikes this time, I did a bit of shopping around as I was becoming fed up with Footman James. Sure enough, Bennetts were £200 per year cheaper than FJ at £190 per annum with a £200 excess. I thought the £200 excess was a bit severe, so I decided to select £100 excess in the quote and re-run it. It came in at £20 cheaper for having lower voluntary excess. I don't understand this at all, but guess which quote I went with?
22/1/2019 3:43:52 PM UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
It is rather like the dark arts! Change one single item - often for something we would assume is "negative" and boom! You've made a saving. I'd like to think there's some complex algorithm based on scientific research, thoroughly studied statistics, detailed analysis of driving standards and all programmed by highly skilled technicians. I suspect there's a digital tombola that just spits out random numbers.

Maybe I should get into insurance - how hard can it be?!
22/1/2019 3:51:28 PM UTC
Pocketpete said :-
So it's not just me who has the insurance problem....

Just did my car... £ 325 with the tax. That's autorenewal.
Confused have me £ 278 with guess what the rac. Eventually got to £ 250 with o2.

If I put my occupation as retired the price goes up. If I put hgv driver the price goes down a touch. If I put shop worker it goes down more. Obviously being retired is bad.working is good.

Now I only have to do this dance 3 more times this year. With 2 cars and a bike.

It's horrible answering the same questions overs and over again.
22/1/2019 4:33:38 PM UTC
NigelS said :-
2018 Benelli TT125, not the most powerful and fastest m'cycle on the roads today and for a renewal I was asked for £260! I'm certainly not a learner, I took my test in 1964 and I have full NCB. The insurer (ie. not the broker) was Markerstudy. I changed brokers, like-for-like I was quoted £86 but I added a few extras like breakdown recovery (it is a Chinese made bike after all!) and legal protection etc so the final invoice was £110. And now comes the interesting bit . . . yep, the Insurer is none other than the very same Markerstudy! There's nowt as queer as vehicle insurance!
23/1/2019 8:26:44 AM UTC
Steve said :-
I renewed with Bennet's after the usual haggle over computer generated quotes. £269 for my NC700X and Royal Enfield Himalayan fully comp with a few hundred pound excess on each bike. Like you Ren I asked about Brexit & Euro cover as i have a few trips planned, they said to me my policy will cover me for all areas in the EU for 12 months regardless of the outcome.
Maybe i better get it in writing lol

23/1/2019 7:18:15 PM UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Steve - Yip - I'd want that in writing with a hand written signature from a senior partner at the brokers AND underwriters. In triplicate. Framed. Countersigned by a serving judge. Witnessed by Lloyds of London.

NC700X and Himalayan? Are we the same person? You got a 125 out back?

I was going to say I'm thankful it's not just me that both hates the insurance dance and hates the quasi-scam of the brokers. I think it'd be better to say I feel better that my predicament is shared with many others.

NigelS - Your dotage and experience will soon start to count against you. I believe insurance starts to rise as your 3-score and 10 have passed.
23/1/2019 8:07:06 PM UTC

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