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Fri, 20 Jun 2008

The Science of Insurance

My car insurance is due to be renewed soon, so I've been ringing around to get quotes. With every company I've tried, I've given them the same information, and I want the same product. Now, those of my chums who work in financey companies assure me that there's lots of Science and Reasoning behind how they calculate all their stuff, and you would have thought that insurance, being a huge part of the financial industry, would be just as sciencey.

Well, no. If it was sciencey, then for the same inputs (things like what car I drive, what accidents I've had and when, how old I am, where I live etc) then the outputs would be the same. Except that, for identical policies, I've had quotes ranging from £900 to £1,650.

There is quite obviously no science and no rational calculations behind insurance quotes, they're just making shit up.

Posted at 10:19 by David Cantrell
keywords: cars | rant
Permalink | 4 Comments

They are complete and utter fucking goons. Last time I tried to renew, being a lazy sod, I thought I'd just go with the same company for the second year in succession (Kwik-Fit Insurance, I think). Except being a very lazy sod I didn't get round to renewing until a day after it was due - no problem, I hadn't driven the car in a week.

So I phoned up. "Oh, sorry, that quote isn't valid any more." Er, wtf? "Let me find a fresh quote for you... that'll be £335." As compared to the previous one, which was £270. Clearly I had become £65 less safe in the intervening day of not driving.

This is such a bunch of arse I said, sorry, no way, I'm not paying that. If you can do better then maybe.

So Ms Call Centre goes away with a promise to "see what I can do" and phones back 15 minutes later saying "I've just spoken to my supervisor, we can give you the same deal for £275, we're really not supposed to do this" (yeah, right, I'm your special friend and you thought you'd risk the sack just for me).

Unfortunately for her I'd spent the intervening 15 minutes on Confused.com (a subsidiary of Admiral who are equally evil, but hey) and had just got insured for £260 from some other bunch of fraudsters. No doubt it'll be the same rigmarole next year. Hey ho.

Posted by Richard Fairhurst on Fri, 20 Jun 2008 at 10:39:42


you've only now realised that it is all subjective and based on the amount of cash they can suck out of unsuspecting "customers"?

there are sets of equations involved - how much dividends their shareholders demand, costs of running the business and how much "reserves" they need to function...so depending on how many payouts they've had to make this gets factored into how much they will charge in premiums.

blame the accountants :D

Posted by Mary on Sat, 21 Jun 2008 at 17:02:50


I recently have been sucker punched by the insurance 'industry' in as much that I had to stay with the same insurer because I'd had an 'accident' - I drove over some glass on the motorway and the Highways Agency admitted fault, hence it shouldn't be counted as a claim on my insurance - but found because of this that when I phoned around for a quote at renewal time I couldn't state with other insurers I hadn't had an 'accident', as they term it as 'an accident that either was or wasn't your fault'.

So if someone else does something wrong you are still responsible for it - how does that work?!

Therefore the only way to exact my revenge was to play hard with my current insurer. I phoned them and said I'd had a much lower offer with another company at which point they immediately dropped my premium by £29. I said it still wasn't what I was looking for and and wanted it considerably lower, at which point they dropped it by another £50. So I saved £79 for a 5 minute call, didn't have to swap insurer and ended up with a premium cheaper than the ones on the screen scraper websites.

You've just got to stand firm, I tell thee...!

Posted by Ben on Mon, 23 Jun 2008 at 13:47:57


If they're asking about accidents, then obviously what you want to do is, in the split second of saying "ohfuckohfuckohfuckohfuck" before you hit the other guy, accelerate and make it deliberate.

Posted by David Cantrell on Mon, 23 Jun 2008 at 17:31:26


Sorry, this post is too old for you to comment on it.

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