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Time to haggle on motor insurance renewals

Postby V8webmaster » 20 Dec 2017 14:35

Haggling over an insurance renewal premium has sadly become necessary as it seems insurers are quietly taking advantage of their most loyal customers with higher renewal premiums whilst offering new customers attractive lower cost deals. A lead feature in the Which? magazine in its January 2018 issue on “why loyalty doesn’t pay” adds providers of insurance and other essential services are usually prepared to offer incentives, typically a reduction in their charge or renewal premium, if you ask for it and actively haggle for it. Our NEWS item released yesterday followed on an earlier item in September 2017. But there is a sequel - today in the Times there is an article noting the head of Eon saying “I think it's right that somebody who engages with the market and searches for the product that's right for them gets a better deal than the person that doesn't”!
http://www.v8register.net/sub2/news171220-insurance.htm
http://www.v8register.net/sub2/news171219-insurance.htm

Providers can take advantage of customers who may not feel sufficiently engaged to start shopping around for a quote, so face near auto-renewals with incremental price hikes. Older age groups are seen as particularly good targets for accepting price hikes with little challenge or next to no haggling - and the service providers know it and exploit it as an intentional part of their business model. So "passive loyal stuffees" are disadvantaged while the market has tipped in favour of those that are prepared to hunt around for a better deal, haggle with their existing provider and if necessary walk away and renew with another supplier. For many older classic car enthusiasts the thought of shopping around and haggling for a motor insurance quote is not attractive, but sadly it's time to rethink loyalty - is it worth staying at any price?

When you see your next motor insurance renewal premium and feel moved to contact the insurer or broker to say you feel the rise is unreasonable and then press for a reduction, you may well be out of your comfort zone in haggling with a provider. Politely asking them why there is a large increase and also how does the renewal premium compare with what they would quote if you were a new customer will be well worth doing. They will probably try and avoid a straight answer so if you have been to another leading insurer or broker before your call and got their quotation then you can say to your current insurer or broker “well a quotation I have had is considerably less so your renewal premium looks way too high. What reduction are your offering?” For many older members (but not necessarily all) they have become conditioned to believing loyalty had a value and insurers would give you a good renewal deal. Sadly in most cases that has gone. So you have a choice: actively check the market and haggle otherwise just roll over and accept the heavy price hike they lob at stuffees!
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Re: Time to haggle on motor insurance renewals

Postby Chris Hunt Cooke » 28 Dec 2017 01:41

I entirely agree, with all my motor insurance I look round the market every year, the reward for loyalty is being taken for a mug, unfortunately. The other thing to look at is whether the premium is being inflated by additions you do not need, perhaps because you have other cover for them, such as legal cover or breakdown insurance. Do you actually need a hire car if yours is off the road being repaired if you have another car available, such as a classic car?

On the other hand you also need to compare the level of cover and service provided, there is no advantage in cheap cover if the insurer is going to be very difficult to deal with if you have a claim. With a classic car you also need to consider rights to the salvage in the event of a write-off and of course the agreed value. There seems now to be a need for a regular, perhaps even annual, update to the agreed value with some insurers or the policy will revert to market value, whatever that may be. Above all one needs to ensure that any possible use is covered, you do not want to find that you are uninsured because you used your classic to go to work one fine day in the summer, or a club run had a very mild element of competition.

Another area where a bit of haggling can pay off handsomely is breakdown cover, where a quick phone call will invariably result in a reduction, in my experience.
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Re: Time to haggle on motor insurance renewals

Postby V8webmaster » 28 Dec 2017 16:00

Following our earlier NEWS items on high motor insurance renewal premiums, a fellow member has been in touch saying "shortly after seeing the news item on insurance renewals on the V8 Website, I had the renewal for the RV8 arrive today showing an increase from £198 to £233 for next year. That's an increase of £35 or 17.7% year on year.

I made a simple quick phone call to PBIS and the opening question from me was "How can you help reduce this increase in premium please?" which was met very positively because having agreed an increase in the voluntary excess I pay by £50 to £250, the resulting revised premium was . . . wait for it . . . £199.54 so well worth the phone call!

I think the answer is that by agreeing a larger voluntary excess the insured is taking away risk from the insurer and so the premium should be less. Quite simple. I don't expect it will apply in all cases to all people but I firmly believe it is a case of asking the right question in the right way to get a positive response."

See our earlier NEWS items on motor insurance renewals by checking out the links on the insurance renewals gateway webpage. http://www.v8register.net/subpages/gate ... ewals1.htm
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Time to haggle on motor insurance renewals

Postby V8webmaster » 05 Jan 2018 12:07

Following the NEWS items on the V8BB, Hugh Boddington reports "I had a renewal this week from Hastings Direct who insure my BMW 28i auto Z4 which increased my premium by around 10% to £597. A telephone call to them suggesting the car was worth £2,000 less and opting for 5,000 miles per annum, it was reduced to £457. They did not want a compulsory excess and are happy with my voluntary £250 excess. I did explain I felt the over 80s are a soft touch! All other quotes from the usual online companies wanted considerably higher excesses some as much as £750."

Revising the value of the car, limiting mileage and accepting higher excess amounts does have a considerable and welcome effect on the renewal premium for a daily car. The revised premium of £457 is about 15% lower than the previous year's premium and 23% lower than the renewal quote! An example of how it pays to discuss the renewal premium and haggle if necessary.
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Re: Time to haggle on motor insurance renewals

Postby Peter Jevons » 05 Jan 2018 22:48

Hi Guys
I tried the "how are you going to reduce my premium" following my renewal notice on my MB GLC as I was shocked by the increase from £340 to £479 this was with the RAC having held this insurance for 3 years with only modest increases each year. In fact the 479 figure was a further increase when I asked the above question and then tried to haggle. So in this instance the tactic did not work. I tried all the usual comparison sites and also a few of the well known names that do not come up online. I ended up with a £424 figure with Direct Line which was the best alternative, someone suggested that being over 70 does not help. Pete
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Re: Time to haggle on motor insurance renewals

Postby V8webmaster » 07 Jan 2018 19:52

High increases with motor insurance renewals seen from members' feedback
If you have been following our NEWS items on the high increases with motor insurance renewals the chart prepared from members' feedback may interest you. So far we have had only four members provide details of the renewal experience with their daily car but what the analysis shows is interesting.
http://www.v8register.net/sub2/news1801 ... update.htm

Renewal premium compared with the premium paid last year
The increases range from 10% to 55% with an average increase of 25%.

Final premium following negotiation compared with last year
Substantial reductions have been negotiated sometimes adjusting the excess and mileage conditions with an average increase of 7% - a considerable improvement.

Reduction when the final premium is compared with the renewal premium
The average reduction is 17% or £79. The reductions ranged from £34 to £140 or 11% to 23% less.

So clear signs that haggling pays and a good reason not to be a "passive loyal stuffee" when faced with a large renewal premium increase!
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Re: Time to haggle on motor insurance renewals

Postby Jeff Marsden » 08 Jan 2018 13:26

Hi Guys
On the subject of insurance, I trolled the insurance companies two years ago at the Classic Car Show at the NEC. There were several companies that did not have the courtesy to reply, but one that did offered a "Family Fleet Policy. That Company was Bishop Calway and I insure on this system. Two moderns, Discovery and Fabia and five classics at agreed values and 2 race cars for fire, theft and transit damage, a trailer and 2 classic bikes and a new 1050 Triumph sports bike.
Premium has gone up this year by approx. £200 but the valuation of classics has been increased by £100K+. In total the premium is £1650 but that does not include breakdown in Europe which is another £37.50 per vehicle. Worth a try?
On a second point beware of RAC breakdown cover. They have a clause stating value is equivalent to Glass' guide or CAP which does not include anything over 20 years old, so you may not get recovery costs and they could write off your classic.
About time the industry had some guidelines to make cover unambiguous?
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Re: Time to haggle on motor insurance renewals

Postby V8webmaster » 14 Jan 2018 11:18

In a whole page article in today's Sunday Times, Stephen Bleach (Travel Editor) describes how his insurer sent him a renewal premium notice 2½ times as much for almost identical cover he obtained by seeking a quote from the same insurer as a new customer. He says "this is how one of the biggest names in personal finance rewards a decade and a half of loyalty. There are many words you could use to describe that sort of behaviour - and I have used them, in private and at high volume - but the Money section believes in restraint, so all I’ll say here is they’ve got a nerve. It took me a long time to realise Halifax Home Insurance had been taking me for a chump." How much more brazen can insurers' business models get?
https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/hali ... -l2x5dh35x
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