In a previous post I talked about getting my car insurance renewal quote, and it being more expensive then last years even though I now had another years no claims bonus. Which now takes it up to 7 years No Claims Bonus. After looking at reviews for other car insurance company’s I was left horrified at what people had to say. This made me hesitant to go with a new insurance company just in case I ran into the same problems which other people had been unfortunate enough to encounter.
So I thought I’d phone the car insurance company (Bell Insurance) who I have been with for Seven years and see what they had to say about lowering the price of my insurance. This would be about the third time in seven years that I had actually needed to talk to someone about my policy. So I rang them up and straight away I had a problem, I was on hold for so long that I actually ended up putting the phone down and calling back later. The second attempt at talking to a real person also failed so I went Online to see if emailing them and asking for a callback might be more effective.
Numerous emails down the line and I was starting to get annoyed. I would receive their automated response telling me that someone will be in contact soon but no one got back to me. To cut a long story short a week went by with me receiving no reply at all despite loads of emails and phone calls. I was starting to get concerned because I only had like 5 days left to go before my cooling off period was over. I started to think, is this a tactic they use. You can’t contact anyone throughout the cooling off period, so the time runs out and the policy holder is then automatically signed up for another year, and if they want to cancel their contract they are charged a fee. In my case the fee would be £50 to cancel my car insurance once the cooling off period had finished.
I ended up ringing them back again and this time I did get through, to a call centre in Canada. Bell have a call centre in Canada! The guy was really helpful when I told him I was not happy being treated like this. I mean, Ive been trying to talk to someone about my policy for over a week, and with no reply at all, it just felt like I was deliberately being ignored. So I let him know I wasn’t happy. I pay them more then enough money every year and I can’t even speak to someone. The Canada representative had a talk to his manager who said that treatment was not acceptable and told me that this time I would definitely be getting a call back. He said if I don’t get a call back there will be hell to pay for the people in the UK call centre I was trying to make contact with. I got the feeling that this guy called the shots. I think I got lucky and talked to someone high enough up the chain of command to actually get things done in a hurry. Well it worked.
Within 10 minutes of putting the phone down I was called back by the Bell UK call centre. They were very apologetic, but to be honest I was in no mood to hear it. I went through some of the things I wasn’t happy about, like being ignored for over a week etc, and then I asked about why my insurance was so high even though I now had 7 years no claims bonus that had been built up with them from the very start. He just said insurance is rising for most people. But then I went on to tell him about some quotes I had done which came back really cheap and I’m thinking of leaving if they (Bell) can’t knock some money off the renewal price. Somehow, the representative actually had access to my quotes at his computer and he said, yes I can see you have gotten back some seriously low quotes and because you have been with us for such a long time I can give you a discount on your renewal price. He said, I can give you a discount of £100.
I didn’t really say much when he said that because the quotes were considerably lower even with £100 off. He then continued, telling me he would go and speak to his manager about getting some more money knocked off because of how long I have been a customer and with all the inconvenience I had gone through trying to talk to someone. He came back from speaking to his manager and said, we can give you another £30 off. So they were offering a total £130 discount.
Even though £130 off my current car insurance renewal price wasn’t cheaper then the quotes I had got back, I still thought to myself that’s a great discount. Because in all honesty I didn’t want to change insurers anyway. After reading through the horror story’s (reviews) from customers who were with the insurance companies I was thinking about joining just to save some money, I would rather stay with Bell. It may have been hard to contact Bell but in the end they showed that loyalty does still count for something at least and I saved £130. So I guess it’s always worth ringing your insurers first to see if they will consider lowering the price before changing car insurers and wishing you didn’t.