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Yes, I am a typical Scot in many ways. I wouldn’t consider myself mean but I am certainly careful with money and if I can save a few pounds then I will.
Insurance is one item of expenditure that I really hate forking out for. Why? Because I very rarely claim for anything. I have been driving now for more years than I wasn’t driving. Have I given my age away? And for most of that time every year I shop around for the best deal for my insurance. I have only had one claim in my whole driving experience and that wasn’t my fault. I was in bed sleeping, my car was parked and some idiot decided to smash into it and write it off. I was broken hearted; I had only just bought it.
I discovered Esure last year. I had seen a couple of ads and they were part of the Bank of Scotland / Halifax group, so certainly a reputable company to deal with. So I decided to get a quote from them. You find them on the net at www.esure.com. You can also phone them on 0845 603 6066. Their ads promise "good drivers with 4 years no claim discount can save up to 30% on car insurance". Well I am a good driver, with over 10 years no claims so I might get a good deal here.
Esure is a fairly new company set up by Peter Wood, the founder of Direct Line. Their literature states that they "believe that better drivers deserve better policies. That means bigger rewards, now and in the future with a good driving record.” Basically they only insure drivers who have a good record. If you have less than 4 years no claims they will not insure you. They also only insure people between 21 and 75. They will also not insure the following (taken from their website):
If any driver does not hold a full driving licence.
If you live in Northern Ireland or the Channel Islands.
If any driver has had a driving licence suspended in the last 5 years.
If all drivers have more than 2 minor convictions (i.e. any conviction with the following codes: CU, MS (excluding MS50-56 and 90-96), MW, PC, PL, SP and TS).
If any driver including yourself has an occupation in the following categories: taxi or minicab driver, proprietor or controller; performer or presenter in films, TV, radio, music or other performing arts (HAVE YOU SEEN THEIR AD?!); professional sportsperson, manager or coach; non UK armed forces or diplomatic staff; or connected with gaming, nightclubs, circuses, fairgrounds, amusements, street trading, scrap waste or second hand dealing, student, fast food delivery.
If your car is valued at more than £50,000 (I wish!).
If your car is not kept at the policyholder's address.
If your car is over 20 years old.
If your car does not have a United Kingdom registration number, or has a registration number starting with 'Q'.
Now onto the website. They ask you for the usual personal details in order to give you your quotation. When I used the site last year it was rather slow to load and progress from screen to screen, but that has improved and the last time I used the site I was impressed with how much quicker it was. You have to complete: name, date of birth, occupation (from a pick list), postcode, and house number. From that it will automatically fill in the remainder of your address, you just have to confirm it is correct.
Next you fill in the details of the car you want to insure, the registration number. I have then found that the details regarding make and model are then automatically completed for you, but you do need to check them and amend or confirm. You then give more details about security, alarm or immobiliser or both, tracing device, standard fit or after purchase. (You get discounts for good security). You are also asked where the car is parked overnight, garage, driveway, road etc. The first time I used it I was also asked about parking during the day, but I was not asked that the last time. You are asked how long you have held a drivers licence, convictions, and any no claims you have, also details of any accidents, regardless of blame.
You can then select the required use of the car: - social and domestic pleasure purposes - commuting to and from a permanent place of work - personal business use for you, and your spouse if applicable If you require business use you are advised to telephone them. I chose social and domestic and commuting to and from a place of work.
Then you can add any additional drivers you want to insure. I add my husband at this stage. Their name, date of birth, occupation, relationship to you, and driving history are all required. They also ask if they have any medical conditions that are required to be reported to DVLA. For some strange reason they never asked me about medical conditions.
Next you are thinking you select cover, well you are wrong. Esure will only give Comprehensive insurance. No third party only or Third party fire and theft.
Once all of those details have been input, and at the beginning it does say that it is a secure site so you should feel comfortable giving them all those personal details. Then you come to the quote. You get the ability to alter the cover at this point. You can add Motoring Legal Protection (for £17) which will help you recover any uninsured losses which arise from an accident which is not your fault. You can also add breakdown cover with Green Flag (for £45). You can also adjust how much your audio system is insured for. If you have 5 or more years No Claims Discount you can protect this by selecting the No Claims Discount Protection for a small additional fee (around £12 for me). This allows that in the event that you do have an accident or have to make a claim, you don't lose those 5 years of hard-earned NCB. They have a scale for this and if say for example you have 65% No claims Discount, after 1 accident it stays the same, after 2 accidents it is reduced to 45% and after 3 accidents it is reduced to 0. I select to protect my no claims.
Esure do not stop their No Claims Discount at 60%, 65% or even 70%. However the most they will allow you as a new customer is 70% for 5 or more years. Then if you renew your insurance with them they will give you an extra 1% each year to a maximum of 75%. I don’t know any other insurance company that gives that level of discount.
Now comes one very important observation about their insurance. It does not include cover to drive any other vehicle. I can’t remember how I found that one out, but I did. Prior to taking out the insurance I contacted by email the customer services and asked how much extra it would be to get this cover. They agreed to add it on for me at no additional charge. So remember….ASK!
You can also select what excess you require on your policy. The excess is the first amount of each claim that you pay yourself. Sometimes there is a compulsory excess and you cannot adjust that, but if you increase the voluntary excess you can reduces the premium slightly. Excesses range from £0 to £200. I selected £100.
My quote came in £60 cheaper than my existing policy, for comparable cover. So I decided to save it. You just click on “save quote” and enter your email address and a password and the quote will be saved until such time as you choose to purchase. There is no obligation to purchase if you save it. You can also purchase straight away, or return to the site later. When you chose to purchase you can enter credit card or debit card details and print off a confirmation. My documents arrived in the post the next day. You can also telephone them to organise cover if you don’t want to give details over the net.
This year my renewal notice came through in the post and after my usual get a few quotes I decided to renew with esure. Unfortunately you cannot renew on the net. You have to telephone or send a cheque in the post. You can also pay by their budget scheme. Again following the renewal my documents arrived promptly in the post. I also persuaded my mother to get a quote from esure this year and hers was cheaper too.
Last week I bought a new car. I telephoned esure on Wednesday to give them details. I had to pay an additional premium of £12! (A 10 year old car to a new one!). As it was the bank Holiday on Friday and I needed to get the car taxed I explained to the girl on the phone that I really needed the new certificate the next day so could she make sure it went out first class. She said she would do it herself. And yes, it arrived. Great, thank you esure. I am impressed.
Now one thing I have always said about Insurance Companies is that you can never tell exactly how good they are until you have to make a claim. And I have nothing to report here. I have not made a claim and I hope that I will never have to. So I may never get this op finished. So I will rely on their literature for the next bit:
If you use our recommended repairers and suppliers and have a valid claim you can expect the following: • we’ll automatically approve a valid claim on the telephone in minutes • we’ll provide a free courtesy car whilst your own is being repaired • all repairs guaranteed for 5 years • Free car clean after repair (how about one now?) • we’ll give you an offer within 2 working days, if we find on inspection your car is uneconomical to repair • Audio system stolen or damaged? Our recommended supplier will contact you and replace it within 5 days • Emergency glass replacement normally within 90 minutes, non-emergencies within 2 working days • Immediate arrangement of legal help for uninsured losses if you have Motoring Legal Protection.
Esure also offer home insurance but I did not find this cheaper than my existing insurer.
In summary, they are definitely worth a try for a quote if you fit their criteria. Thanks for reading.
Excellent op. These sound good but as you say, you never know what they are like until you need to claim.
Myopinioncountstoo 03.08.2003 22:41
Really informative - I got a quote from Esure recently but you certainly learned more about them than I did.
Only reason I went with AA again is as I have horror experiences with insurers when I've had to claim (not my fault ;)) in the past. Hopefully you won't have to!
babajane32 18.05.2003 15:15
I have had a couple of quotes from these before,but they have not been the cheapest,but seeing the benifits is likely to make me think harder on my next renewal,afterall even if they are a couple of pounds dearer it may be worth it to get good coverage and such good assistance in the event of a claim,
pink jane x