New and inexperienced drivers are used to getting ludicrously expensive quotes when trying to insure their cars ─ but probably nothing quite like this.
27-year-old Rhys Baker from Salford Quays in Manchester was quoted a staggering £1.2 million. And no, the young project analyst wasn’t trying to insure a Bugatti Veyron. No, this quote, from Zenith, was for a Y-reg Vauxhall Corsa worth around £1,500.
“I went through all the questions and then the [online] quote came up for £1,165,977.75. I was convinced it must be a mistake, so I called them up on their helpline,” Mr Baker told the Daily Mail. “They didn’t even seem to be shocked by it. They checked it for me and then said it was right.”
Rubbing yet more salt into the wound, insurance firm Zenith offered Mr Baker the option of paying the quoted premium in monthly instalments, with a first payment of a mere £233,000 followed by 10 months at £104,000.
“I’m convinced they were just trying to price me out of buying insurance with them but it’s a ridiculous way of doing it. I’d love to know how they would have reacted if I’d just agreed to it – although with a car worth less than £1,500 it was never going to be likely,” he said.
Amazingly, Mr Baker actually passed his test two years ago and had been previously paying a much more acceptable £2,000 to insure a Ford Fiesta. Currently he has no driving convictions and no accidents.
Zenith has said its website was recently changed to decline an insurance quote of more than £10,000.
Group underwriting director Gary Humphreys of Zenith owner Markerstudy Group said: “The price Mr Barker was quoted reflects that we have ‘declined’ to provide cover, as we would not expect a customer to pay such a high premium. This is not a case of pricing customers out of the market but quoting on the risks that are within our rating parameters and declining if they are outside.”
Thankfully for Mr Baker, Admiral-owned Bell was able to offer car insurance for £2,000. Even then, a telematics box that tracks his driving was needed, which he was not best pleased about.
“That’s not fair either really because when you go over a speed bump it counts against you, and if you have to stop suddenly because someone steps into the road it does too,” he added.
It’s not uncommon for insurers to use high sums to effectively tell a driver it is unable or unwilling to provide cover for certain drivers, but such a high figure is a rarity.
The AA’s insurance index found the cost of comprehensive car insurance has dropped by almost ten per cent over the last 12 months. It found the average policy price to be £594.86 as of July, 2012.
Via: Daily Mail