Saturday 16 April 2011


In 2000 I got car insurance through a broker in Paisley, called Swinton.

I chose it because it was the one place that, when I phoned, didn’t tell me that I had 5 options, followed by yet another 5 know the sort of thing.

Of course almost everyone has them now, but back then there were quite a few companies that didn’t. In fact what I liked was the fact that they cared enough about their customers to have real live people to answer the phone. So over the past decade I’ve continued to use the company, without much idea of the cost of my insurance when set against other companies. In short I’ve taken their word that they were getting me the cheapest insurance. This year when they called to remind me that it was time, they had bad news for me. My insurance had increased by about 37%. I’d heard that insurance costs were increasing, but having not made a single claim in 11 years, I didn’t expect anything like a third increase. So I said I’d think about it. A friend got online and within 15 minutes had come up with a wide range of companies MUCH cheaper...and they weren’t rogue or unknown companies either. The AA was the cheapest. As long as you weren’t an existing member they gave you recovery coverage on top of a far cheaper deal than I’d been offered. Unfortunately I already am a member, so for me the best deal was with eSure (who delivered an extra 500 jobs to Glasgow not so long ago). In fact it was even cheaper, fully comprehensive with protected no claims bonus, than last year’s deal through Swinton. So, if you are stuck in a rut with insurance and you are being quoted ridiculous amounts for this year’s cover, shop around. Companies know the busy, rich or lazy people (I’m in the last group) who take the easy way out and re-insure every year without looking around. Beat them by doing it. Just one cautionary note: You will need to prove your level of no claims bonus, and certainly, in the case of Swinton, getting that from them has proved less that easy. Many phone calls, pleas and threats later, I have my letter. But I saved well over £100. And in these straitened times for hard-working British families....etc, etc.... yawn.........

Simples? Uh huh.

PS: Apologies to everyone. The spacing is all to hell on this post. It’s been hard to get the paragraphs sorted for some time, but tonight nothing I do will make it work! I’ll try to get to the bottom of it. Sorry again for making it difficult to read.


  1. Spacing looks ok to me Tris. I've had problems with cut and pastes, such as the book serial.

    Well done you. I'm off to find out if I can get cheaper.

  2. Oh... It's all in one paragrpah on my screen SR...

    Oh well...

    Yeah, get yourself a deal. There's a few different sites you can use...

    The days of the broker are over I think...

    Let me know how you get on...

  3. Tris

    I had the same thing with my electricity and gas. I was on various fixed rates over the last three years. When my latest fixed rate was due to end I got an email saying I could either switch to the standard tariff or a new fixed rate. I checked their web site and there was a better fixed rate than the one they offered me. I phoned and said I wanted that rate, and was told I could not get it.

    I went on a few comparison sites and found a fixed rate even cheaper with another company. I was switched last week with no fuss. Original company phoned me to ask if I wanted the deal they said I could not have, told them they were a bit late.

    With all these companies a loyal customer is seen as a mug to be exploited, they think apathy rules. Do not let them get away with it.

    P.S. I have changed my Home and contents insurance three times in the last three years, I am now paying less than I was four years ago.

    The internet is great, its not just for laughing at the Subway great escape.

    A loyal customer

  4. Well done you Dubs!

    It's the same with mobiles, landlines... in everything it seems loyalty counts for nothing.

    I did it with my bank about 5 years ago. Went from the Clydesdale to the RBS (and thinking of going back now). When I transferred they gave me £100.

    I get really hacked off with the idiots who call you after you've changed and offer you what they wouldn't give you two weeks ago.

    All a set of chancers. But you're right. The net's for more than laughing at Iain "Don't sleep in the Subway" Gray... although God knows it's worth the money for that alone.

  5. Do you think the beeb will do a comedy thriller "Subway Escape" starring um Elmer and his incompetents in a real life drama in original setting content to follow.....

    Stopped using a broker a number of years ago as they became very complacent in their endeavors to get the best.

  6. Parawhats?
    I have been with the NFU since ...ooooooooo...well a long long time anyways and they are consistently a good deal and being a mutual they even knock dosh off from time to time, four vehicles was £ ( I wont tell you as you'll only go and kick yer cat or sommat) ish fully comp last year and the son learning to drive in my 2 ltr mondeo was an extra £60 including protected ncb on that one!, sometimes it pays to stay, but you have to be somewhere good in the first place, oh and they don't quibble on claims either!

  7. CH... thing about the Beeb doing it is that Elmer Snarl would probably be played by Zac Efron and Maggie Curren by Jordan. They would be shown as superheroes (perhaps even using a phone box, if they could find one that wasn't dilapidated, to do their changing into skin tight apparel), fighting the anti-establishment filth that roam the back streets of our major cities. Along the way Elmer, in the form of Zac, would seduce beautiful women, getting his kit off as frequently as possible, and Jordan, in Maggie’s guise would have a few more breast enhancements, and virtually always have her kit off.

    In the end they would vanquish the foe and Scotland would be reunited with England, becoming officially a northern county with a permanent force of English troopers headed by Elmer in a new role of Governor General. Can you see him in a white suit and pith helmet?

    Salmond, who would have been played by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Sturgeon by Cilla Black, would have been sent to the tower, and Subway would have had to be repainted in Union Jack colours.

    Pet Clark might make a few Swiss Francs though if they used her song as the theme tune, so it’s not all bad.

  8. OK, I kicked the cat anyway, nominedeus.

    Thanks for the tip. I will certainly look at them next year.

    With insurance rates in general going up by 8 to 10 times the rate of inflation and the government sitting on it archie doing sweet nothing about it, especially when it is a legal requirement for car owners, we need to get the lowest rates we can. (As if it weren’t bad enough that we have the most expensive petrol in the world in our oil rich nation, and pay massive road tax for cattle tracks.)

    You make a really important point about them paying out without any troubles. It’s all very well getting cheap insurance, but if they don’t pay out when you need them, all you’re doing is covering your legal requirements. Let’s hear it for NFU

    BTW parathingys are the white bits between the type, often the most interesting parts of my posts!!

    Nice to see you here anyway: call again soon!

  9. I phoned up the other day to cancel an insurance policy that I'd had for about 10years. The girl said my excuse that ' I didn't want it anymore' wasn't on the database so she couldn't cancel it.
    I knew I could just go into the bank and cancel the direct debit but decided to have a laugh and put forward excuses to see what was on the databsase.
    'I'm being sectioned, I'm living in a box in the street etc' didn't work so I said let me have a think. After a minute of silence she said 'maybe you've changed your mind about the policy'.
    I said pardon. She said 'maybe you've changed your mind about the policy'
    I said that's right I've changed my mind about the policy. That's fine she said I'll cancel saying you've changed your mind. That's an authorised excuse.
    'Is there anything else I can help you with today' she asked.
    I'm not sure if it's me that needs help.

  10. Oh I forgot to say. You're link to Craig Murray works ok but it's not updating the stories. Still says a month ago or something.

  11. heyyy Monty,

    How are you?

    That was another roll on the floor laughing situation. I hate it that I can't talk to people who are actually people reading from a script. And can you ever talk to a supervisor? or a manager? Can you hell!


    Thanks for the info on Craig. Anotehr thing that's gone wrong by the looks.

    I see Munguin's Republic is just like the UK.. falling apart at the seems.

    Still, nice you see you back!