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    • SouthLondonUser
    • By SouthLondonUser 11th Mar 18, 11:29 PM
    • 492Posts
    • 67Thanks
    Insurance quote going from 800 to 950 to 1700!
    • #1
    • 11th Mar 18, 11:29 PM
    Insurance quote going from 800 to 950 to 1700! 11th Mar 18 at 11:29 PM
    Every time I do an insurance quote, I use fake but realistic data to come up with indicative quotes. I do this because I don't want to be spammed by all the insurers (in my experience, opting out doesn't always work) and because I don't trust that insurance companies won't somehow use my quotes history against me. The 'fake' data is the address next door, a few months of difference in my DOB, etc.

    The best quotes were all with Hastings essential, obtained in this chronological order: 850
    CompareTheMarket: 970
    GoCompare: 970

    To be clear, all these 3 prices are for quotes with Hastings Essential.

    I then went to Hastings Essential's website and got a quote for... 1,700!!!

    How on Earth is any of this possible? I meticulously double checked that every single piece of information provided was absolutely identical. It doesn't make any sense. I understand prices can vary slightly from day to day, but this???
Page 2
    • Car 54
    • By Car 54 12th Mar 18, 7:50 PM
    • 2,916 Posts
    • 1,857 Thanks
    Car 54
    You are assuming there is a statistically sound reason why insuring red cars is more expensive. Unless you are one of the actuaries who devised the pricing algorithm of an insurer, how can you be sure? Can you rule out that it's just a nonsensical result of the black box algorithm? Or that insurers are charging more simply because they can?

    The fact that I got 3 wildly different prices from the same insurer using 3 different channels (2 price comparison sites vs the insurer's own site) proves that price differences are not always a true reflection of a different risk profile.. In this case it was self-evident; in the case of charging more to insure red vs blue, or to insure a vehicle with a sticker that must be declared as a modification, it's not. Maybe there is a statistically sound reason. Maybe there isn't. How can you be sure? Do you trust insurers? I most certainly don't!
    Originally posted by SouthLondonUser
    If you try buying an identical item (tin of Heinz beans?) from several different retailers, you will see different prices. It's called competition. Why should insurance be different, if you're looking at the same product through different channels?

    If they were all charging the same price, wouldn't it suggest a criminal conspiracy?
    • SouthLondonUser
    • By SouthLondonUser 12th Mar 18, 8:36 PM
    • 492 Posts
    • 67 Thanks
    But the price of beans is not the result of a specific algorithm which calculates it based on the specific risk profile of each customer.

    The point is, how can we know when differences in prices are truly justified by a difference in risk profile, and when it is simply profiteering by the insurers? We can't!

    The WSJ had a story a few years ago about American companies using variable pricing:
    Is this competition? Methinks not.
    • Aylesbury Duck
    • By Aylesbury Duck 12th Mar 18, 9:04 PM
    • 1,849 Posts
    • 2,492 Thanks
    Aylesbury Duck
    So what do you propose is done about it? What are you going to do about it? You cannot self-insure so your options appear to be to continue to shop around as you have been doing, or give up the car so you do not fall victim to the black box pricing you despise.

    Me? I am content that there are bigger things to worry about when it comes to motoring and that some people are paying higher premiums to subsidise the lower ones I look to pay.
    Please forgive the deliberate omission of apostrophes on some posts whilst I await MSE to do something about the daft codes that appear in their place when typing on certain devices.
    • SouthLondonUser
    • By SouthLondonUser 12th Mar 18, 9:08 PM
    • 492 Posts
    • 67 Thanks
    Realistically, I don't think much can be done about it, other than continuing to shop around. But at least we could stop saying that every price difference we see in insurance quotes is justified by some statistically sound reason!
    • JP1978
    • By JP1978 12th Mar 18, 9:15 PM
    • 401 Posts
    • 283 Thanks
    Using the same fake details is useful to see a relative difference between companies - ie, company x is more expensive than y - but as others have said could be higher or lower once you put your own details in.

    Its a useful tool to compare what different scenarios do to the cost - car on drive, car in garage, kept away from home, employment, number of drivers, postcode etc.
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