Wednesday, 9 November 2011
Winter - Update
In this post, I neglected to mention motor vehicle insurers attitudes to policy holders who elect to use winter tyres. Thanks to RantinRab for the reminder that insurance companies are not always customer friendly.
Rab noted that many companies regard winter tyres as a customisation and will not settle claims unless they are told when you fit them. He also suggested there would probably be a premium hike.
A few days after I ordered by tyres back in September, I mentioned it to a friend. Her immediate response was to ask which company I used for insurance. My answer of Direct Line was met with derision. Both her husband and herself had fitted winter tyres last year and, while her car was parked outside her home, someone clipped the front bumper. They'd phoned Direct Line to discuss this only to be told any claim would be null and void as they had not informed them of the change.
Furious she immediately set about finding another insurance company which she did (Saga) and has saved £130+ on their two policies. Saga do not require notification when summer/winter tyres are fitted.
Because if her experience I phoned Direct Line to inform them I had 'changed the specification' and the following week I had confirmation. No charge was made and if there had been any mention of a charge I would have taken the same action as my friend. Next year I will look around for a more competitive price.
Remember when council departments didn't have email addresses and therefore all business had to be done by telephone or Royal Mail? During my dealings with Direct Line I asked why they didn't provide an email address to which I could have written my change of spec. My comment was quickly brushed aside with the curt response containing the words 'too many spammers'. It would have been much easier for me to write them an email instead of having to go through the 'press 1, 2,3,4,5,6,7' requests - all costing money while I wait to talk with a human voice. Surely these companies ought to be providing email access as part of their customer 'service'.