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  • FIRST POST
    • mike004
    • By mike004 15th Aug 16, 3:27 PM
    • 82Posts
    • 12Thanks
    mike004
    Direct Line auto-renewal shocker
    • #1
    • 15th Aug 16, 3:27 PM
    Direct Line auto-renewal shocker 15th Aug 16 at 3:27 PM
    I have been with Direct Line for about 15 yrs.
    I am over 50, 9 yrs no claim, drive a cheap 1.0 litre car worth about £1.5k, and live in a low crime area. My insurance is 3rd party only.

    Each year I auto-renew and the premiums climb steadily each year. Current auto-renewal quote is £307.

    I got a shock when I went on the DL web site, entered my details and got a quote for £157. For comprehensive cover!

    Planning to phone DL and haggle. But can't get through at the moment. Their callback system said 2-5 mins. It is now nearly an hour.
Page 1
    • martinthebandit
    • By martinthebandit 15th Aug 16, 3:30 PM
    • 2,830 Posts
    • 4,642 Thanks
    martinthebandit
    • #2
    • 15th Aug 16, 3:30 PM
    • #2
    • 15th Aug 16, 3:30 PM
    I have been with Direct Line for about 15 yrs.
    .
    Originally posted by mike004
    So you have been over paying for your car insurance for the last 14 years?
    Politics -
    from the words Poli, meaning many
    and tics meaning blood sucking parasites


    (thanks to Kinky Friedman (or Larry Hardman) for the quote}
    • csgohan4
    • By csgohan4 15th Aug 16, 3:37 PM
    • 2,518 Posts
    • 1,563 Thanks
    csgohan4
    • #3
    • 15th Aug 16, 3:37 PM
    • #3
    • 15th Aug 16, 3:37 PM
    So you have been over paying for your car insurance for the last 14 years?
    Originally posted by martinthebandit


    Better late than Never I guess to reduce it
    • mike004
    • By mike004 15th Aug 16, 3:46 PM
    • 82 Posts
    • 12 Thanks
    mike004
    • #4
    • 15th Aug 16, 3:46 PM
    • #4
    • 15th Aug 16, 3:46 PM
    I expect DL will say that the web quote is for new customers only who apply via the web site.
    Must phone them once again, maybe someone is in...
    • dunstonh
    • By dunstonh 15th Aug 16, 3:56 PM
    • 85,071 Posts
    • 50,097 Thanks
    dunstonh
    • #5
    • 15th Aug 16, 3:56 PM
    • #5
    • 15th Aug 16, 3:56 PM
    My insurance is 3rd party only.
    That is part of your problem. There are so few people buying 3rd party nowadays that the cross subsidy pool is so low that its actually cheaper in most cases to buy comprehensive.
    I am an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA). Comments are for discussion purposes only. They are not financial advice. Different people have different needs and what is right for one person may not be for another. If you feel an area discussed may be relevant to you, then please seek advice from a Financial Adviser local to you.
    • mike004
    • By mike004 15th Aug 16, 4:01 PM
    • 82 Posts
    • 12 Thanks
    mike004
    • #6
    • 15th Aug 16, 4:01 PM
    • #6
    • 15th Aug 16, 4:01 PM
    Just back from haggling...
    £268 comp
    £251 3rd party

    Still way over the web quote (£157).
    Might be best to terminate the current policy. Then sign up as a new customer via the web!
    Loyalty does not pay in this game, it seems.
    • mattk_180
    • By mattk_180 15th Aug 16, 4:50 PM
    • 262 Posts
    • 212 Thanks
    mattk_180
    • #7
    • 15th Aug 16, 4:50 PM
    • #7
    • 15th Aug 16, 4:50 PM
    That is part of your problem. There are so few people buying 3rd party nowadays that the cross subsidy pool is so low that its actually cheaper in most cases to buy comprehensive.
    Originally posted by dunstonh

    This.


    And the fact that out of the few people buying third party, most do so because they are high risk so you are putting yourself in a higher rated pool.


    I'd look around and cancel/restart if necessary. I'd certainly query as to why their online quote is a lot lower though, even just out of curiosity as to what they come up with.
    • dauphin
    • By dauphin 15th Aug 16, 5:04 PM
    • 155 Posts
    • 81 Thanks
    dauphin
    • #8
    • 15th Aug 16, 5:04 PM
    • #8
    • 15th Aug 16, 5:04 PM
    OP, if you are shocked to find that loyalty does not pay, or that comprehensive can often be cheaper than 3rd party, I would suggest you read the guide to cheaper car insurance on the main MSE site.
    I don't understand why you still seem bent on carrying on with Direct Line. You don't mention whether you have tried the comparison sites either now or over the past 15 years, but it would make obvious sense to find out what other insurers can offer.
    • oscarward
    • By oscarward 15th Aug 16, 5:32 PM
    • 558 Posts
    • 205 Thanks
    oscarward
    • #9
    • 15th Aug 16, 5:32 PM
    • #9
    • 15th Aug 16, 5:32 PM
    I've been a DL customer for a few years now, when I renew I always do it over the phone and they always match the web site price as they can see it on their system.


    But to be fair last year the renewal quote was a few pounds cheaper than the web site.
    • fierystormcloud
    • By fierystormcloud 15th Aug 16, 5:40 PM
    • 1,197 Posts
    • 3,627 Thanks
    fierystormcloud
    OP, if you are shocked to find that loyalty does not pay, or that comprehensive can often be cheaper than 3rd party, I would suggest you read the guide to cheaper car insurance on the main MSE site.

    I don't understand why you still seem bent on carrying on with Direct Line. You don't mention whether you have tried the comparison sites either now or over the past 15 years, but it would make obvious sense to find out what other insurers can offer.
    Agree with Dauphin. ^^^ Don't know about other Insurance companies, but Direct Line don't give a stuff about 'loyalty.' My oldest sister and the second from oldest were both with them for 10-13 years for their pets, their contents cover, their car insurance, and their breakdown cover. 3 years ago, they both got quotes for their car insurance for around £55-60, after being a third less the year before. (Same as OP; been with them over a decade, both middle aged, no claims etc...)

    There was no reason for this rise at all. And when they asked why it had gone up from £38 to £55/56, they said 'that's just the price this year.' They tried haggling too, but the best Direct Line would offer was 3 to 4 pounds off each. They both said 'I will leave then,' and Direct Line basically said 'bye then!' So they moved to another company, and the car insurance dropped by half.

    I hope Direct Line go under, because they don't give a stuff about their loyal customers, and deserve to lose ALL their custom IMO.
    • agrinnall
    • By agrinnall 15th Aug 16, 8:21 PM
    • 15,599 Posts
    • 11,310 Thanks
    agrinnall

    I hope Direct Line go under, because they don't give a stuff about their loyal customers, and deserve to lose ALL their custom IMO.
    Originally posted by fierystormcloud
    Please enlighten us as to which insurers do give a stuff about loyal customers. I'm guessing it'll be a very short list.
    • forgotmyname
    • By forgotmyname 15th Aug 16, 10:53 PM
    • 23,268 Posts
    • 9,173 Thanks
    forgotmyname
    I was with DL for many years, they were always the cheapest for me. then it shot up. They matched the quotes i had at the time which was quite a bit off the renewal price.
    But the following year they would not budge on the renewal price so i went elsewhere. I tried them again a couple of years back and they quoted just under £1000 when my insurance was approx £350.
    Punctuation, Spelling and Grammar will be used sparingly. Due to rising costs of inflation.

    My contribution to MSE. Other contributions will only be used if they cost me nothing.

    Due to me being a tight git.
    • Aretnap
    • By Aretnap 15th Aug 16, 11:00 PM
    • 2,423 Posts
    • 1,899 Thanks
    Aretnap
    I don't understand why you still seem bent on carrying on with Direct Line. You don't mention whether you have tried the comparison sites either now or over the past 15 years, but it would make obvious sense to find out what other insurers can offer.
    Originally posted by dauphin
    In fairness to Direct Line, the quality of their cover and (in my own experience) their customer service is better than average. Not necessarily the best there is, but certainly a damn sight better than the gidawful Gibraltar-based insurers you find at the top of the price comparison sites. If you can get a reasonably competitive quote from them you are probably better off sticking with them rather than saving a tenner by going to some dreadful pseudo-insurer.

    Do shop around, but don't choose insurance purely on price, any more than you'd choose a car or a pair of shoes solely because they're cheap. If the website quote is competitive there's nothing to stop you cancelling your renewal, then signing up for a new policy via the website.
    • mike004
    • By mike004 16th Aug 16, 9:10 AM
    • 82 Posts
    • 12 Thanks
    mike004
    I did a search on a comparison site and many of the quotes were actually higher than the haggled DL price quote, or even the original DL price quote.
    Many of the insurers with a lower price I hadn't even heard of, except for Churchill, LVE and Privilege.

    The price comparison site did not return any results for Direct Line.
    • mike004
    • By mike004 16th Aug 16, 9:47 AM
    • 82 Posts
    • 12 Thanks
    mike004
    LV= comp at £210, including legal cover seems OK. Also with windscreen cover.
    Better than the cover that DL were charging me £310 for.
    • Weighty1
    • By Weighty1 16th Aug 16, 10:41 AM
    • 85 Posts
    • 34 Thanks
    Weighty1
    The price comparison site did not return any results for Direct Line.
    Originally posted by mike004
    That's because Direct Line don't quote via third party brokers, you have to go direct.
    • FutureGirl
    • By FutureGirl 16th Aug 16, 5:42 PM
    • 515 Posts
    • 219 Thanks
    FutureGirl
    Privilege and Churchill are run by Direct Line as well, so if you had an accident and are with either, it'll still be the same people dealing with it.
    Slimming Target;
    Total weight lost = 14lb
    • Johnp2712
    • By Johnp2712 10th Oct 16, 5:02 PM
    • 1 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Johnp2712
    Had a shock around 2 years ago re my MIL. She was 92 and suffering increasingly with Alzheimer and had to go into a home. At that time we discovered that she was paying around £1200 for home and contents insurance with Direct Line by auto renewing. It seems it had been going up and up each year. When I did a new application just to see what it would be on similar cover with Direct Line they quoted around £200. Be warned.
    • dunstonh
    • By dunstonh 10th Oct 16, 5:18 PM
    • 85,071 Posts
    • 50,097 Thanks
    dunstonh
    Had a shock around 2 years ago re my MIL. She was 92 and suffering increasingly with Alzheimer and had to go into a home. At that time we discovered that she was paying around £1200 for home and contents insurance with Direct Line by auto renewing. It seems it had been going up and up each year. When I did a new application just to see what it would be on similar cover with Direct Line they quoted around £200. Be warned.
    Originally posted by Johnp2712
    It probably wasnt just renewing that was the difference.

    Insurance is a bit like other retails products. They change the policies over time. Adding things in. Taking things out. People on older plans have the benefits and terms of those older plans. It is not uncommon for older plans to go up in price as less people remain on those older versions. Also, the spread of risks becomes a smaller pool if the older plan covers something that is not present on a newer plan.

    Some older plans are based on sum insureds. Whereas most modern plans give an automatic amount of cover based on the property being standard construction and the number of bedrooms.

    Also, it is very common for people not to compare like for like. £1200 to £200 suggests more than just a premium difference on version of policy and lack of early year discounting. It suggests the cover is not comparable (although it could be a sum insured plan with annual indexation vs a bedroom rated plan).
    I am an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA). Comments are for discussion purposes only. They are not financial advice. Different people have different needs and what is right for one person may not be for another. If you feel an area discussed may be relevant to you, then please seek advice from a Financial Adviser local to you.
    • paddyandstumpy
    • By paddyandstumpy 10th Oct 16, 5:51 PM
    • 311 Posts
    • 87 Thanks
    paddyandstumpy
    I bet it's just price optimisation has taken over here. When you renew a risk year on year the insurer will see that, and optimise accordingly.
    This sharp practice is most prevalent in the 50+ market, with the 'specialist' providers out there (naming no names but the ones who do cruises are the worst for the IMO).
    Unfortunately there is no recourse on them for doing this, as the client has the option to shop around each year.

    Good for you for noticing and doing something about it, and it's a pleasant surprise to hear it's a different offender (variety is the spice of life!)
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