Monday, 10 January 2011

Insurance Rip Off?

I was discussing car insurance recently with a friend of mine. When I first started driving aged 17, I can't remember what the cost of insuring my little Ford Fiesta was but I do remember spending an awful lot of time on the phone, ringing round for quotes. These days, it seems no matter how many quotes you receive, if you're a young driver between 17 and 24, you will pay an absolute fortune to insure your car. I know of young people who drive extremely carefully in their tiny engined cars and are being stung by companies. There is of course this stigma that if you're a young driver then you're also probably a reckless one, too. But that is something I am finding hard to agree with. Our main road known as the A1 is like a race track. The part where I live is a single carriageway and drivers speed up and down like there's no tomorrow. There are at least two major accidents a week on the stretch near where I live, caused by speeding or those who are just careless. There is no average, no statistical facts and certainly no particular age group that cause these accidents, some of which are fatal.

When my late father-in-law drove his car I used to fear for the lives of others on the road. I never got in the car with him because he used to frighten me with his recklessness, hitting the curb, fiddling with the radio, waving at passing motorists. And to top it all, he used to smoke whilst driving which was a reason in itself for me not to get in the car with him. My husband, even though a good driver, does have his moments where he is too busy waving at someone he knows that he fails to see the stationary car in front. I wonder if insurance companies tarn all young drivers with the same brush for a reason. I hold my hands up and admit I'm wrong if they can prove that the most reckless drivers on our roads are those of a young age, inexperience possibly playing a large part. But when I see grown men and women driving like nutters along a single carriageway, overtaking, weaving in and out, kids in the back, it really begs the question, are young people being ripped off?

p.s. don't forget about submitting your paranormal tales for my new blog, Marvellous Mable. Details here.

42 comments:

  1. I've just pulled this from the AA website:

    1 in 5 drivers are involved in a crash during their first year on the road.

    Male drivers aged under 21 are 10 times more likely to have a car accident than male drivers aged 35 or over.

    Young drivers have a higher proportion of crashes at night than older drivers.

    1 in 8 British drivers are under 25, but a quarter of drivers who die in traffic collisions are in this age group.

    In 2007, 40% of passengers killed or seriously injured – meaning lost limbs, paralysis, brain injury and other life-changing injuries – were in a car driven by a young driver.

    I agree that insurance is very high for new drivers, but apparently they can reduce this amount by taking the Pass Plus course. As for the elderly, I guess they will only get cheaper insurance if they have their no claims bonus.

    Wow...that sounds like I'm totally ripping apart your post! That wasn't my intention, honestly! Lol. (I knows you love me). x

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  2. Data from the US agrees with what Elaine shows for the UK. What might be missing is an evaluation of very old drivers, who really should be tested behind the wheel more often. Like you and your F-in-L, I was terrified whenever my grandfather took the wheel, whizzing down winding canyon roads with one eye shut just to show us how well he knew that road.
    It's true that anybody can be a poor driver, and that young people can be good ones. But when I open my Sunday paper, it's the 20-somethings dying on the roads Friday & Saturday night.

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  3. I think that young drivers are heavily penalised esp the young girls who are far more cautious as statistics have pointed out. Though I also think that young drivers should have further tests and should learn all about driving too fast...actually that goes for ALL drivers who passed their tests more than five years ago!!!

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  4. I happen to have just had a heated conversation with my insurer. I had to change my 'profession' listing, and it pretty much doubled the cost. I am exactly the same person, with exactly the same experience, will not be doing any more driving than I am now, nor on different roads or times of day, I just have a different 'label'. Two comments: firstly, I suppose they have their statistics and it easier to go by these than treat everyone as an individual; secondly, people do like to be able to attach a 'label' or a pigeon-hole to others...what might they be missing in the process I wonder?

    E x

    http://philosopher-without-a-cause.blogspot.com/2010/11/cartesian-beginnings.html

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  5. I've always been a good driver (no speeding tickets, no accidents), but I'll admit I am more cautious now at 33 than I was when I was a teenager and young adult. Part of that comes, I think, from just being generally more aware of my surroundings and the fact that I am responsible for the three kids in my car. Equally to some young drivers, it's the older drivers who scare me.

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  6. Statistics definitely back up the higher risk factor that insurers quote. At the end of the day though, they are looking to make money off us with high premiums and then claims denials at the other end.
    Just remember that when you're shopping around, you need to look at how well they pay out in the event of a claim as well as their initial prices. Sometimes the cheaper ones are the worst for fighting a claim.
    PS. The one thing that people are very slow to get is that all the dodgy claims going through actually push up the price of insurance for everyone.

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  7. I think that you may be onto something. I had my car hit last year and when I took it to get fixed, I commented about how the repair place may be coming up on a busy season since school was letting out for the summer. The lady there said the busiest time for repairs was in the winter when the snowbirds were in town (I live in Florida) because the elderly get in wrecks a lot more than the teens.

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  8. I love the way you think and I'm so excited to be a new follower!!!

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  9. Both times I have had my car hit by someone on the road, the reckless parties were double my age.

    I guess the companies have to use a blanket approach to make their money just because of a minority of young drivers.

    I believe after a long period of driving, people should take a refresher test though, but that's a whole new argument which results in be becoming 'ranty' :)

    x

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  10. "when I see grown men and women driving like nutters along a single carriageway, overtaking, weaving in and out, kids in the back"......and that's just the tractor drivers!

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  11. Insurance is such a rip-off. It really makes me sick how much they charge -- and we really have no choice but to pay!

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  12. i hear you...there are some real nutters out there on the road and i wonder how they cn still be, insurance or otherwise...

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  13. Troy - That's not very nice now, is it...

    CJ xx

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  14. Too bad there's not some sort of test that would prove it!
    Happy day sweetheart!
    hughugs

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  15. I've always paid more than wither of my parents have. I can only imagine it is because of what Elaine brought up, that young drivers are involved in more crap! It's sad, really.

    AubrieAnne @ http://whosyoureditor.blogspot.com/

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  16. The rates for drivers between 17 & 24 is higher because they pay for the 40-something SUV drivers who yak away on their cell phones and text while they drive. At least that is my theory. Oh, wait...that would be me!

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  17. Young, inexperienced drivers are the cause of amny accidents according to statistics but I ahve to agree with various others about the very old as well. I live in FL where many come to retire and by far the craziness I see on the road is by the well, very old! They can not see, dart across 3 lanes and then complete stop, well you get the picture! I think after a certain age you should be required to take your test again! For the safety of everyone else on the road!

    new follower & I hope you'll stop by and visit my blog & return the follow!

    Bernadette
    http://momto2poshlildivas.blogspot.com

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  18. Thanks for visiting my site!

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  19. From the Mixed Bag Hop - please come see me at www.adayinmotherhood.com, if you have not already ;)

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  20. I know the A1. Luckily the stretch near Peterborough is now upgraded and they have ditched most of the endless roundabouts. In Bahrain, it is definitely the idiot young boy racers who cause the most accidents. And there are many.

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  21. Lanita - LOL - yes, I'm one of those 40 something drivers, too. Though I do admit, I never use my mobile phone while driving. It really isn't worth it.

    Thank you for your comments, CJ xx

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  22. I am a big supporter of road safety. With husband an ITU doctor I hear about preventable accidents all the time. The stretch of the A1 you write about is indeed awful. I simply don't understand why it has been neglected.

    Are young drivers getting ripped off? No, probably not, as they are the most expensive age group to insurance companies. If anything, the high premiums should be incentive to drive safely to build up their no claims bonus!!!

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  23. Hello!

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    Carol

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  24. I have to admit that as a "younger" driver, I was a bit careless... trying to make it home before curfew sometimes meant flying like a bat out of Hades. But since I became a Mom, I am far more cautious.

    My sister, on the other hand, has so far maintained her Wild-Woman-Behind-the-Wheel status. You would never know it in meeting her. She is so kind and gentle. It's like when she gets in the car, her alter ego takes over... I do worry about her.

    Rhonda

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  25. I know what the stats say but I have to say in my 15 years of driving, I haven't noticed any one group being worse drivers than any other.
    I've seen plenty of the idiotic youngsters roaring around in souped-up Fiestas with music blaring and no doubt either drunk or stoned.
    I've sat behind nightmare 30/40-somethings who seem to think that sitting in the middle lane doing 50 is somehow safe.
    I've watched 50-somethings come out of the pub and climb into their cars, seemingly unbothered by the fact that they're totally unsafe to drive, simply because when they were young, drink driving didn't have any stigma attached.
    I've followed and nearly been hit by senior citizens who passed their test long before we had such busy roads, faster cars etc. And my only accident involved, I'm afraid, the ubiquitous "white van man" who smashed into the back of my stationary car because he was ogling a blonde in a Porsche going the other way.
    I know everyone says this but I am a good driver. A safe driver. I would not touch a drop of alcohol on the same day as I'm driving. I do 25 in a 30mph area. I understand the rules of the three lanes of a motorway (ie you should always be in the inside lane unless you are actively overtaking someone or you have pulled out to allow others on an incoming slip road to join). The one thing I'll happily own up to is speeding on a motorway. 70mps is just too slow. I average somewhere around 80mph. Apart from the white van idiot, I've never been involved in an accident or even a near miss.
    As far as the insurance is concerned, I feel it should solely be based on your driving history - not your age etc. When you first pass your test, the premium should be pretty high no matter what your age or occupation and year on year, the longer you're not involved in an accident that was your fault, the premium should go down.
    And I echo a previous poster - everyone should be required to take their test again at least every ten years. I won't elaborate either because I tend to rant on that subject as well!!!

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  26. Em - So you agree with me then!! Great comment and keep on driving safely. We have a few drivers round here who think it's okay to drink and drive, some have been caught, others get away with it. But it infuriates me that those drivers are actually older drivers and the younger ones are sensible enough not to drink and drive.

    Thank you for your interesting comments, CJ xx

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  27. I'm in the US but I have a pet peeve for the bobbin' and weavin' on the roads.

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  28. I have to agree that although I think there are great young drivers out there, I know that I personally am (usually) a better driver now than I was back then. I think driving is like a lot of things that as you gain more experience you just keep getting wiser.

    I'm stopping by and following from Welcome Wednesday! Have a great rest of your week!

    http://www.thanksmailcarrier.com

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  29. Hello - I'm following from the hop - Shah, wordsinsync.blogspot.com

    XX

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  30. I'm certainly a better driver now, in my 40's than I was in my 20's. I think you just become more aware. What annoys me is how a change in my profession can increase my insurance cost, even though I have a full "no claims bonus".

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  31. I think there are a lot of bad drivers of every age! I have been appalled at the number of drivers I see passing on a double yellow line.

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  32. (I forgot to mention that I'm a new follower.)

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  33. I am new to your blog and I love it! My children (ages 2 and 4), are fascinated that you live on a farm (they're sitting with me now). Your dogs are beautiful. Good luck with your novel!! I'm following you from Welcome Wednesday. Please follow me back when you get a chance at Meatless Meals For Meat Eaters

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  34. I did not drive yet but i will drive safe when i have my license. A new follower from Welcome Wednesday.

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  35. Hi! I'm a new follower from a blog hop. Would love for you to check out my blog and follow back! Insurance and dealing with them are the pits!

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  36. Happy Wednesday! I'm a new follower via Welcome Wednesday! Please stop in to visit me when you can!

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  37. Sometimes the more familiar you are the more careless you can be. I know reckless and careful engaged drivers of all ages.

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  38. I'm following from today's blog hop. www.jandshoughton.blogspot.com

    Plus I have some great givewaways going on, hope you'll check them out.

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  39. Oh man... Don;t get ME started.. lol.. Swiniging by to thank ya for the hop follow.. and follow back.. (=

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  40. I've thought quite a bit about this issue, having a dad who is 88 and still driving and a nephew who just turned 21. Dad keeps to local routes now, simply because he doesn't feel he could react quickly enough when or if he comes across some idiot driver. He drives just fine, though.

    Nephew drives all over the place, Boston, New York, Maryland, you name it, and I pray for him to be safe not because he's a bad driver without much experience, but because I'm afraid his few years of being on the road haven't given him enough skills to yes, you guessed it, react quickly enough when or if he comes across some idiot driver. He drives just fine, though.

    Truth is, we do see a lot of accidents involving young people and I do think that while they have the capability to be an excellent driver (after all, it wasn't long ago for them that they were being instructed), they have a nasty habit called Taking Chances. It's the "I am immortal" thing. (I certainly was, when I was 17, don't you know?!)

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  41. Laurie - you make a good point. Taking chances seems to be something people do without thinking about others. My husband takes chances sometimes when pulling out onto the main road.

    Thank you for your comments. CJ xx

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  42. Thanks for coming by my blog. I'm following back.

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