It’s not the fact I have to shell out large amounts of money every year, nor is it the effort involved with finding a cheap provider. It’s simply the lack of common sense within the car insurance industry that makes me furious.

I understand that it’s a necessary evil. Back in December someone I know bumped the car in front whilst in a queue of traffic. The impact wasn’t even hard enough to mark the rather flimsy plastic grill covering their radiator – yet, six months on, the driver of the car in front is claiming masses of money for ‘personal injury’.

“Ha,” I scoffed when I heard, “If they walked away from the incident smiling, and it took them half a year to notice they were in pain, chances are they hurt themselves elsewhere. They’ll be laughed at.”

Au contraire! How wrong I was!

My friend contacted the insurance firm, told their side of the story and was horrified to discover that the company planned to make a payment for such a nonsensical claim – despite there being no witnesses or any supporting evidence of this so-called injury.

And what could possibly make this whole farce worse, you ask? The insurance company have, for the third time now, neglected to send an incident form to the accused driver. My friend has been forced to pester for one so they won’t be accused of ignoring claim letters. And we pay people to treat us this way?

The idiocy doesn’t just start at the point of claim though. I tried to renew my own cover yesterday and as a prospective customer, I was put on hold for eighteen minutes. I would probably have been on hold longer had I not become irritated with an Elton John album from the late ’90s and hung up. I then decided to try one of the comparison websites on offer. Not only did I encounter trouble due to the fact I have 3 years No Claims Bonus from my somewhat extended time as a learner driver, but I also found that my existing insurance provider is offering me cheaper insurance as a new customer than as a renewal. I was not happy.

So I called them, enduring a mere fifteen minutes of elevator music, interrupted by a too-loud recording of someone telling me that my call is important. Hmm… it’s obviously not important enough for them to hire sufficient staff. Of course, I suppose if they did they wouldn’t be able to pay out nearly as much in bogus claims.

After finally talking to the sales advisor – who was, admittedly, incredibly helpful – I was told I could have the online price I was quoted… And that my Dad, who is a full twenty-nine years older than me, was named on my policy as my daughter. This speaks volumes – their computer will overlook the impossible contradictory years before I was born, but it won’t overlook the perfectly legal years during which I owned my own car without a full licence.

Oh well, at least I’ve sorted out this nonsense for another year. Hopefully by the next time I come to renew my insurance, good old-fashioned common sense will be back in fashion.

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