Also see here.
Insurance, you say?
When I took on breakdown cover from Green Flag just four years ago, it cost me, as I recall, about £60. The AA were asking a lot more. I think it was about £250, though it may have been more. That was my “reward” for being with the AA for 38 years. When I rang to complain about their new member prices a few years previously they basically told me to get lost, as there was no reduction for me, just a lifetime of servitude as a cash cow. I put up with it a while longer, as I am always a little afraid of changing insurance companies, but their prices rose and my standard of living fell, so I had to do something.
When I rang to cancel they offered me a better deal, based on the same deal they were currently doing for new members. I told him they should have thought of that when I had originally asked, as they had now pushed me to the point of no return.
Green Flag, which I have used to help with tyre changes twice in four years has been good, but they have doubled in price in four years, well ahead of the rate of inflation. This is even more noticeable as i hardly use the car these days.
I am now with Britannia, who are providing my cover for £99, about £30 less than Green Flag. Ironically, the AA, which does not seem to have gone up over the years, has a half price offer on and would have provided this cover for £110 – slightly less than Green Flag. Even the full rate appears to be lower than the price I paid four years ago. I won’t, of course, go back to the AA at the moment, because I’m still annoyed with their piratical pricing practices. The RAC has just had an offer that came in around the £99 mark. In their case I passed because I had arranged to transfer to them but they didn’t contact me to arrange it at the agreed time. You don’t want breakdown insurance with a company that might forget you, do you?
Something I find very interesting is that both the AA and RAC have comparison websites to telll you how much better they are than Green Flag and Britannia. I take these sites, and the special offers, to mean that more and more people are buying on cost these days.
When I told Green Flag I would not be renewing, guess what they said? Yes, straight from the playbook – they could reduce the price for me if that would get me to stay.
Car insurance companies are now supposed to offer the same price to existing customers as they do to new customers. This doesn’t seem to be the case with breakdown insurance. In fact I just looked this up – the new rules apply to car and household insurance, but testing the market still seems to indicate that you can get a discount by shopping around.
I remember a cartoon from many years ago – one City banker saying to another, “No, they didn’t banks can “police” themselves, they said banks can “please” themselves.” Same, I suspect, for insurance companies.