The Insurance Conundrum

By James Wong

Having spent countless hours being glued to the computer screen and entering details onto insurance price comparison websites (and then getting ridiculous quotes), I felt I should share with the rest of the community the plight of some drivers who are paying unreasonably huge premiums on their auto insurance.

It is especially a pressing problem in the UK where insurance premiums have increased many folds in the past decade. On top of extortion-level fuel prices, insurance is now the single-most biggest cost for motorists in the UK. Here’s an idea of what kind of quotes someone of my profile would receive.

Typically, a 22 year old with 3 years on his license and no criminal & accident records can expect to pay GBP3,400 in third part fire and theft insurance for a 2000 Ford Puma, which coincidentally can be bought for only GBP1,000. How about another one: a reasonable 2006 Suzuki Swift Sport: a premium of GBP4,000. And, believe me, if you had thought that it was the type of cars I have been choosing, it isn’t: I have gone through nearly the complete list of ‘fun to drive cars’ and none have an insurance that is even reasonable. In fact, I would give up after a few hours of trying, resigning myself to the fate that the system is just working against me, and then try again a few weeks later, hopeful that the insurers would give some leeway on a certain model. Alas, it has never made sense since the start and that has been the only constant.

I know many young drivers out there, not just in the UK but in the rest of the world as well, are facing the same plight as me, even though some of us are record-free, safe drivers who only want to enjoy a good car on a good road. And it’s not only the young drivers who are hit; the majority of UK motorists would be facing an increase in their premiums this year. This is despite the fact that many of these drivers are record-free, low-risk motorists who has never met with an accident.

So why do we insure our cars in the first place? Some of us insure it because we’re afraid our cars would get stolen or that we would get into an accident. Fair enough – but some of us want to insure just because it’s a legal requirement to do so. Say a car bought for next to nothing – we wouldn’t want to pay more insurance for that than what the car’s worth. Unfortunately, in the UK there is no way out for people who want just minimum legal cover without unreasonable costs. Some people say insurance is a money-generating scam and I’m starting to believe it.

I hope a solution would be found to this soon, otherwise all motorists will suffer as I would foresee more and more drivers on the road uninsured because they no longer want to pay ridiculous money for premiums. Meanwhile, I’ll just work harder to fund the driving passion I have.

 

 

Author: James Wong

The only writer to be based in Asia, James provides a refreshingly different perspective to the automotive industry with his unique experience of living in the Far East. He is a prolific journalist who has written for several leading automotive publications in Singapore, including Torque Singapore and REV Magazine Singapore. He believes in the thrill of driving and champions for an appreciation of driving pleasure above the horsepower race. In September 2010, James relocated to the United Kingdom, London, bringing him to a whole new environment from which to start a new chapter in automotive journalism.

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5 Comments

  1. I live in the States, drive a beater that is worth around $3000, and pay $2800 annually. I have a clean driving record and I am 20 years old and there is no choice, I have to buy insurance because the law requires it.

    I feel for you.

  2. I have 2 speeding tickets and a failure to stop completely at a stop sign, and I’m 26 and I pay $5300 a year for comprehensive on a 2001 VW Jetta. Which is a lot more than the car is worth.

  3. Hi Terence and Iggy,

    Good to know I’m not alone in this. Some justice should prevail, the Telegraph article is a ray of hope.

    James

  4. I’m a single male, 36 and (for the first time in my life) I have no tickets or accidents in the last five years. I pay $865/year to insure my 2006 Mazda3 5-door.

    I haven’t always been so lucky. When I was 18, I bought a new 1993 Honda Civic LX 4-door. My car payment was $314/mo and my insurance was almost $350/mo for the first few years!!! My annual premium didn’t drop below $1500/year until I hit the BIG 3-0.

    I’m actually an independent insurance agent in the U.S. (Georgia). Young male drivers pay at least 80% more than females of the same age.

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