Day 66 – 9 April 2014 and day 8 of the A to Z Blogging Challenge.
The insurance market in the UK is dysfunctional. It works well, there’s lots of competition but it is still dysfunctional. I say this because every time my insurance is due for renewal I have to go through the same ritual. This time it is with my home cover.
A letter arrives from my current insurer telling me that they’ve worked hard to get me the best price cover for next year and I don’t have to do anything to continue protection. What they fail to tell you is that the price has gone up by anything between 10% and 60%. Remember, inflation is at about 2%.
I read the letter, work out the price, swear a lot and call them all of the thieving names under the sun and when I’ve calmed down I do two things (after tweeting about them). Firstly I ring the company and tell them I’m not paying and ask them to drop the price. Secondly, if this is not successful, I go onto a comparison site, choose a lower cost provider and change companies.
It’s a pain and they know it. The market is dysfunctional because it colludes (knowingly or not) to prey on the idleness of good people. They’ll put up the price in the hope you won’t notice and to be honest if the hike was more reasonable I probably wouldn’t.
The price comparison sites are in on it as well. Everyone can only save because the prices have been hiked. Nobody really saves, they just get back to where they started.
And who pays for all of these comparison sites? You do. And who pays for all of the resource tied up in changing policies, looking around for better deals and the sales calls? You do.
If I could have a choice I would avoid them altogether because their actions make it very clear what they think if their customers.
There were four of us at Senior Leadership team this morning, plus Pam of course, as Steve was delivering a training workshop. As always there was a lot to talk about. I started with the tale of my language lunch (see day 63) while Bob continued with his knee exploits (he’s on 50 degrees of mobility – which is a rubbish book by the way). Lee told us how Mrs Lee had nabbed the Virginia Mason book and so he was only half way through it. What an excuse but this might give us an opportunity to work with the police. Neil regaled us with a heart-warming tale of good customer service with his golf club
At lunchtime I met with Irina, my new Dutch companion. I must admit to having been extremely nervous about it before hand as this was the first time that I’d spoken the language with anyone. There’s only one way to get started and so I dived in. Boy was it hard work. I managed to keep up for most of the time but my vocabulary let me down. I must try harder. Irina gave me a magazine to help, in Dutch but bought in Greece (how European) and we agreed to try again in a few weeks.
Neil offered to get me a Dutch pen pal.
In the afternoon we had RMT.
Learning points for today: Being way out of your comfort zone is frightening but exhilarating; exercise is actually good for you; it’s not just us that uses excel and; my Dutch isn’t as bad as it could be.
Today’s enjoyment rating 9/10 – fun fun fun!