I sometimes think I’m a bit to damn nice.
I have had my car insurance with Linea Directa, Direct Line Insurance in the UK, here in Spain now for 3 or 4 years and its time to renew the policy. Obviously times are tight so I wanted the best deal possible with no frills and additional expenses but covering the essentials for breakdown recovery and fire and theft and to make me legal to drive.
The best deal Linea Directa could give me was around 450 Euros and based on the ZERO claims I had made in the last year (and only if I paid that in one payment, not in a monthly payment schedule), but this quote only occurred after I asked about removing all the extra cover I previously had, even though I explained that I did not want any of this from the outset.
The guy from the call centre said he would call me back for my decision.
Getting another Car Insurance Quote
The thing is, something was bugging me, I just felt like I should not be paying this premium at my age (31 years) and in line with the car I drive, a 3 door Peugeot 206, 1.9 Diesel made in 2001.
I asked a friend what he was paying and he referred me to a local Spanish company called BMI, who sat me down, took my details and came straight back with a quote covering all the same features as Linea Directa for 260 Euros. (Please forgive me on the numbers here, they are as accurate as I can make them, I have nothing on paper and am running on memory).
I was a little annoyed upon hearing this, not with BMI, but with Linea Directa, who I had given my custom to for the last few years and who I suddenly felt had been ripping me off.
Not being one to jump the gun and I decided to wait for them to call me back. Sure enough the same guy (I will not mention his name, he’s just doing his job) called me back and asked if I wanted to extend my 450 Euros policy for the coming year. I proceeded to tell him that I had another quote for 260 Euros covering all the same features and asked if he could match that.
He told me he would have to defer to his supervisor.
Getting a new and revised quote
Sure enough, and surprisingly enough he called back not 5 minutes later. “Good News! I have spoke to my supervisor and we can match that quote because of your long term custom and zero claims in the last year Mr. Parks”.
Now correct me if I’m wrong but why the hell was I not offered this much more competitive quote from the outset?
I asked him to call me later so I could consider my decision.
I am really annoyed about this and feel a little like I have been taken for a ride. I’m not going to slate Linea Diretas service, there has been no problems, their staff have been excellent, polite and spoke in English (even though I would have been happy to deal in Spanish) but the drop in price was, in my eyes, extraordinary! Thats 450 euros to 250 euros in the space of 5 minutes.
Maybe Linea Directa do value my custom, but why then, do they make me jump though so many hoops to get the best deal. Why not be straight, never mind the fact I feel now like they have taken me for a sucker the last few years at the previous premium, though I realise this is just a feeling, and then I was under 30 and the conditions have changed,but none the less, it leaves a bad taste in my mouth.
Regardless, its a nice reminder to shop around whatever you do.
So do I now say “thanks but no thanks” to Linea Directa. If you had been open, honest and transparent with me from the outset and valued my custom, then this quote would have been offered immediately, or do I just accept this as “normal business” and if you don’t ask you don’t get kind of practice.
Or do I change my insurance company and give the custom to the local company who offered me the best deal from the start….
What would you do?