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Rip off Britain -

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So much for the world of competition -  rang up to renew my car insurance, and was given a figure £60 dearer than the previous year. When I queried this, sounding reluctant to pay it, the guy on the phone said, "hold on a minute, I'll see what I can do".  Two minutes later, he came back with a figure below my last year's payment. So doesn't that mean they are asking for excess premiums in the first place?  These scams seem to be operating in all the private sector companies nowadays and Ofcom/Ofgen etc are doing sod all about it.

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It depends on whether you go through a brokers or to a single insurance company.

 

Some brokers will do their best to get you the lowest quote. a single insurance company tends to just assume that you will renew no matter what.

 

I have quite a few problems getting  low insurance quote as only one company is prepared to insure me. Had one accident over six years back in my entire driving career, which, considering I passed my motorbike test in the late seventies, is not bad.

 

Many insurance companies will give me a quote of about a third of what I am currently paying until they find out I only have a motorbike license (my car being one of those that can be driven on a motorbike license) once they find out that it is a case of sorry can't insure you. Even went to one that the company that imports the cars reccomended and got the same answer.

 

If I go online to get a quote I have the problem that I may get a cheap quote and be accepted but then they only tend to ask if I have a full british license. The answer to that is yes, but only for a motorbike which is not covered on the website as they only ask if you hvae a full british license.

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Are there no specialist motor bike insurers Sid who might give you cover ?  I can't understand the anomaly where fully comp can be cheaper than TPF&T which i found out this year after many years of insuring my old banger TPF&T.

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Earlier this year my son came to buy his first car, Passed his test 2 years ago and been driving since but has had no insurance of his own. Anyway, the long and short of it was that when he applied for insurance on his own car, by adding my wife and I to the insurance it reduced the premium by around £400. Admittedly it was still expensive but when I had to ensure vehicles and wanted to add drivers the premium always went up not down.

Ian

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Our son passed his test in March Ian and we found the complete opposite in that some companies quoted a lot cheaper if he was the ONLY driver of his own car (ie the car and insurance in HIS name too). 

One insurance quote was doubled if either me or his dad were on it even though we have each both been driving for over 30 years and have clean licences etc.  It was an eye opener trying to insure him and his first car though and quotes ranged from those who would not insure him as he was a new driver to one from Swinton's so called 'Young Driver' policies of £8000.  In the end we found one and got insured for £1400 fully comp with a well known company and not young driver specific.  It cost £60 more to add me and his dad onto that policy but we chose to do that rather than to drive his car TPF&T on our own should we ever have to use his car.

Going back to Observer's original point though that is the norm with any sort of insurance or renewal and unless you ring you don't get any reduction.  I ring every year when our renewals come through for insurance (car, house etc) and things like AA membership too.  They always reduce it from what the renewal letter says and the excuse is usually that the renewals are automatically generated and so don't take into account how long people have been with them or any discounts due... and a load of other pathetic excuses too... but it's always the 'systems' fault.  Some have been very honest though and have actually told us to ring each year as soon as we get a renewal letter :wink:

I guess they just do it because they know some people wont bother questioning it and will pay up. 

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If you ask anyone for a quote to do work for you or to supply you with a service in any field of trade - a builder or other tradesman for your house, an estate agent to sell it for you, a mechanic or tyre supplier for your car, Sky TV, internet providers, mobile phone contract, any large item purchase, whatever - then they'll happily quote you a price. If you're happy with the price then fair enough.

 

If you ask them if that's the best they can do and point them towards places you could get it cheaper, then if they want your business they'll knock a bit off even if only as a goodwill gesture.

 

Insurance is no different.

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What Dizzy says Obs. You can't expect some government regulator to do the obvious for you, i.e. pick up the phone and negotiate! It's an Insurance MARKET and you have to shop around yourself to find the best deal. The reason why your insurer puts up the price every year is precisely because they hope you will just accept it. And the reason why they drop the price when you query it is because they don't want to lose the business. Knowing your mindset I expect you would like all insurance to be nationalised so we would all be paying the same sky high rates regardless of circumstance, but that would be OK because it would be equal robbery, robbery being about the only thing the state is good at.

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The point is Asp; we have a system where prices (the highest possible) can be picked out of thin air, without any justification other than blatant profiteering. Choice is an illusion if you have all the major suppliers doing it and operating a cartel.  It certainly means we need to avoid the trend towards direct debits as that would be a licence to steal from us.  As for "sky high prices" under nationalisation, I certainly don't recall that; and I don't recall a kaleidoscope of offers, gimmicks etc, designed to confuse and extort even more from us.

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I had been with a certain insurance company for some years for both my cars and my home.  When I noticed one car's premium had shot up I decided to use a comparison website and managed to achieve an unbelievable saving with a reputable company. I went back to my own insurance company (who advertised that they would match any quote I got elsewhere) and they immediately reduced their quote to £1 less than the one I had got from the web. Rightly or wrongly I decided I would not stay with a company that was profiteering like that. A couple of weeks later my home insurance came due as well so I changed that as well. The two changes saved me more than £`1,000.   Later I changed my other car's insurance too - and got that cut by half!  Later I took holiday insurance and again achieved a 50 per cent saving.

I'm told that most insurance companies will give you a good price to get you and then put it up later. If that turns out to be the case I shall go back to the comparison website and change again - and add to my collection of cuddly meerkats!

By the way, why is this thread called "Rip off Britain"?  You don't think it will be any different elsewhere do you? It's not Britain that's ripping us off - it is individual companies, many of which are probably not British owned!

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The point is Asp; we have a system where prices (the highest possible) can be picked out of thin air, without any justification other than blatant profiteering. Choice is an illusion if you have all the major suppliers doing it and operating a cartel.  It certainly means we need to avoid the trend towards direct debits as that would be a licence to steal from us.  As for "sky high prices" under nationalisation, I certainly don't recall that; and I don't recall a kaleidoscope of offers, gimmicks etc, designed to confuse and extort even more from us.

Where nationalisation is concerned you do have a history of viewing it through rose tinted glasses Obs, with little or no choice on offer. As Egbert says, it doesn't take much effort to seriously reduce your insurance premiums because of the competition in the free market place. What you are asking for is an end to that competition which would result in all the insurance companies charging the maximum the regulator would allow. And we all know how effective government regulation is once the "old boy network" gets its grubby mitts on it.

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Asp is right Obs, government control destroys incentive and competition among employees, just look at the Civil Service - jobs for life, impossible to fire, breeding like cockroaches.  If the railways were re-nationalised, you can bet that the labor force would double with no visible improvement.   How much money would be required to be spent to bring the system up to what you would expect?   Where would it come from?  It would come from your pocket and maybe you never even use a train.  The same scenario applies to all government run entities, look how well they organize road repairs and control waste.  Do you really want them in charge of anything at all?

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I'll concede that the failiure of national corporations was due to bad management (largely from folk with no commitment to success) and Government interference (as with the NHS), but not the principle of nationalisation. Having had the last few decades to sample privatisation, the failiure to deliver competitive pricing with efficient service delivery to all, should be apparent to all; from banks, to transport, to energy - one big rip off.  The equation remains - if you want private, the customer pays; in higher fares (eg rail fares); lower or nil services on unprofitable routes etc.

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 If the railways were re-nationalised, you can bet that the labor force would double with no visible improvement.   How much money would be required to be spent to bring the system up to what you would expect?   Where would it come from?  It would come from your pocket and maybe you never even use a train.  The same scenario applies to all government run entities, look how well they organize road repairs and control waste.  Do you really want them in charge of anything at all?

The East coast mainline which is Nationalised has just returned £235m to the tax payer, a total of £1billion in 5 years since the privatised company that run it went bust.   But guess what? the government are going to privatise it again, even though it's probably the best run and most profitable train line in the country.

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The private company that ran it was National Express which certainly didn't "go bust". However they were losing money which is why they pulled out of a franchise which was set to pay the government (the taxpayer in other words) £1.4Billion over 7 years. The train operating companies do have to pay the government for the priviledge of running the franchises you know, they aren't given them for nothing. National Express' problem was that they overbid for the franchise and weren't able to make the profit required to service the outlay.

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And it cost the taxpayer millions for a failed franchise, but less of the nit picking The fact is that the same company will now be able to rebid for the franchise to run it again. You couldn't make it up.

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How has it cost the taxpayer millions? You've just said that the public run service has just made £235m for the government, £1Billion over 5 years which is equivalent to what National Express was trying to achieve but failed. But it was National Express that made the loss not the taxpayer surely?

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Not looking at this from an ideological view point, just a logical one.   It would be impossible, for any business run by a team, who do not see themselves as required to be efficient or financialy prudent, to out perform a lean and mean private enterprise.  it's just not human nature.   The true cost of doing business is generally reflected in private industry prices and may appear to be inferior to government prices.  However, costs related to goverment work are usally hidden - buried in the tax buget.   Do you really think that the NHS is FREE ?  If so, take a look at the taxes paid by every worker and corporation.

Just had a surprise, out of curiosity, I got an online insurance quote for an eighteen year old, not previously insured driver, it was $5000.00  (3000 BPounds) per year !!!!  Seems like it doesn't pay to have kids no matter where you are in the world !!!!

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Because of subsidies, a loss of revenues and  because of buying new trains that was funded by the tax payer. .

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 Do you really think that the NHS is FREE ?  If so, take a look at the taxes paid by every worker and corporation.

Grandma and sucking eggs comes to mind.  :roll:  :roll:

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Tex, as I've said on at least two posts now, nothing is free - either the customer pays or the tax-payer. Looking at the US system, I prefer the latter. And even our Government gets "ripped off" by the drug and other supply companies and inefficient contractors.

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Because of subsidies, a loss of revenues and  because of buying new trains that was funded by the tax payer. .

So these costs wouldn't land on the taxpayer if the railways were renationalised? I was against privatisation of the railways and believe it was done in a cack-handed way. Obviously there are ways to run a public owned railway system as has been proved in other parts of the world, but in this country the government seems unable to operate anything efficiently. Why is that?

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Of course the costs would land on the tax payer if it was nationalised, you would expect it to. You shouldn't expect it if it was privately run, that should be down to the customers.

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