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In May of 1999 we purchased our first car - a D reg Nissan Bluebird Turbo.
I shopped around for the best insurance deal knowing that the premiums would be high. I found Insurance Express brokers the best and they gave us one years no claims bonus to start us off as we had been hiring cars for some years and so Dave had plenty of driving experience.
We renewed in May 2000 - the price was higher than some of the other quotes I took, so I queried this. I was told that the free years no claims given last year was really just a ‘special offer’ to get us started on the insurance ladder as it were, and we only actually now had one year as at May 2000. I accepted the explanation and renewed. The insurance cost £466.
We then brought a brand new Peugeot 306 Meridian and I rang to ask for a quote to change and the quote was £560, almost £100 higher than for the Bluebird! When I queried this I was told that the firm insuring the Bluebird specialised in high performance cars so the insurance for an ordinary car was high. I suggested that he try some of his other contacts. He eventually got back to me with a reasonable quote of £393, but then the ‘fun’ began.
The initial telephone call mentioned above was on Monday 5th June and we were due to collect out new car on Friday 9th.I asked for new cover note immediately as the garage needed it in order to tax the car in our name, prior to collection. I was told that this was not a problem. He rang late that afternoon to say he would need the old insurance documents back before he could issue the new cover note.
On Wednesday I had not received the cover note so I rang the office to ask what was happening. I was told that the old documents had been received but they hadn’t got round to doing anything with them. I reminded them that I needed the cover note by the following day so that I could get it to the garage. I was promised that it would be sent first class that night.
I will just add, at this point, that each time I rang I had to wait in a queue listening to music for a minimum of half an hour before I spoke to anyone.
On Thursday I still did not receive a cover note so I rang again. I was assured that the cover note had been sent in the previous night’s post, but they offered to fax the information to the garage as well to be on the safe side. I rang our garage to be told a faxed copy would be of no use, as the Post Office would need the original in order to tax the vehicle. I would have thought an insurance broker would know that! The man from the garage had rung the insurance brokers to see what was going on and had just got abuse from them, so he wasn’t best pleased either. On Thursday evening my partner collected the cover note from their office and delivered it to our garage. We received the posted copy the following day, postmarked Thursday!
When our full insurance documents finally arrived they were issued at the wrong date, i.e. the 7th not the 9th June. When I rang I was told that this would be OK as we were insured now so what did it matter. I pointed out that we would have to pay the following years insurance two days early and was told ‘tough’. They told me that Corinthian, the people who were actually insuring the car, would not change the documents. I rang Corinthian and they told me that there would be no problem changing, providing I sent proof that we bought the car on 9th.
We did eventually get the correct insurance documents. We also got £60 which was supposed to represent the difference between the old and new insurance costs, plus some compensation.
This account is considerably shortened to post on Ciao. There were many more telephone calls and much more stress than I have shown here. The staff at Insurance Express lied on numerous occasions about what they were doing and who was to blame for mistakes.
We'll stick with them for this year - getting a refund would just be too much stress but NEVER AGAIN!!!!!!
Update - we renewed with Egg this year - simple, efficient and a good price.