Car insurance too high? You can get free no claims discounts from the right insurer.
Don’t you hate car insurance? Insurance generally is detestable, being something you pay for in the hope that you never need the service, but car insurance, with its ever increasing premiums is something all drivers are required to have, whether we like it or not.
I have just bought a new car. No, it is not a new car, it is just slightly newer than my current 11 year old one. And it is a Mercedes-Benz but the smallest one possible, before the Big Boss of Bitterwallet starts thinking he is paying me too much. He’s not. Anyway, I called my current insurers to sort out changing the insurance.
I didn’t think this would be a problem, I have seven years’ no claims discount and have never been caught speeding. Or anything else. However, the co-operative insurance, or CIS, informed me that despite the fact that this was my policy, set up in my name, my direct debit, my car, they had transferred my no claims discount to my husband. I informed them that this was incorrect and that they could just go and transfer those handy old no claims back, and they refused.
You see, because they had already done it, and I hadn’t noticed in the very small writing (about 8pt font) on the policy documents, they had effectively rewritten history. They told me that they would not provide me with proof of no claims to a new insurer because, according to their records, I didn’t have any, but that they would evidence my husband’s no claim discount, even though, on a purely factual basis, he did not have any.
Previously, I had been unaware that insurance companies had such time-travelling qualities, but I was assured it was all my fault as I had said that he might drive the car, on balance, a fraction more than I did* believing that his age (being somewhat more than mine) would be preferable.
So. Despite still feeling robbed of what was mine, I resigned myself to searching for insurance assuming I had zero no claims. According to the Quidco compare site (where you see the net cost after your cashback), as my husband is now in prime mid-life-crisis age territory, and is a man, it was actually cheaper for me to have zero no claims than for him.
However, I also had to call Mercedes’ own insurance company FirstCover to get the cover note so that the dealer could tax my new car. I explained the situation to the lady on the phone and she informed me that, despite the fact that CIS had stolen my no claims discount, she could give me 5 years no claims to mirror the discount that was now my husband’s. Not only that, but these would then be my own no claims going forwards should I want to change insurer in the future.
I have to say, Mercedes FirstCover insurance would not have been the cheapest quote if I had all my no claims- although, naturally, they do not claim to be the cheapest, merely the best. However, with the gift of the no claims discount, they ended up being cheaper by over £250, which is not to be sniffed at. Cheapest and best then.
I am assured this ‘mirroring’ policy was not created especially for me, and is aimed at couples (like mine) where the partners have been sharing a car, and now they each want to have a car. The no claims is awarded on the basis of being a named driver on another policy throughout the period.
Clearly, this mirroring of no claims bonus can be very lucrative for people in this situation, and had I not spoken to First Cover on the phone, I would not have known this was possible, I would have been pillaged of my no claims bonus and would have forked out a fortune in insurance. So maybe sometimes online isn’t always best and it pays to speak to someone on the phone once in a while.
Or just read Bitterwallet.
*as I am clearly locked in a basement writing for Bitterwallet most of the time.