Insurance Agreements Are Becoming The Size Of A Novel

Tuesday, 20. May 2014

Hi, Graham Hill here, thank you so much for visiting my blog, I hope you learn a lot and as a result end up driving a great car. In order to do so you can get all the information you need by buying my book, An Insider Guide To Car Finance or use me to finance your next car. Happy driving.

I have never had a particularly high opinion of insurance companies, not helped by the refusal of Zurich, probably the most crooked insurance company that I have ever encountered, not paying out on a perfectly valid claim when I accidentally spilled a bottle of Lucozade into my laptop computer.

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They conveniently retained no copy of the original conversation that I had with the claims person, then produced a scrappy piece of handwritten paper considered to be a ‘transcript’ of our conversation which was a complete fabrication and actually a disgrace and fraudulent in itself.

This didn’t compare well to the transcript provided by Saga of the conversations I had when I took out my policy. The transcript was independently created, word by word, by an outside agency and the script went on for many pages. I was accused of fraud in the most ridiculous of fashions. I complained to the Financial Ombudsman service.

In the first instance an adjudicator reviews the case and gives an interim decision. This is not legally binding but gives an indication as to what the Ombudsman would conclude. On two separate occasions the adjudicator found in my favour and twice the crooked Zurich refused to accept the obvious conclusion reached by the adjudicator.

Finally after two and a half years, yes I said two and a half years the Financial Ombudsman was able to review my case and immediately found in my favour, instructing Zurich to remove all references to fraud or any other references to ill doing on my part from all files. To pay for the replacement of my damaged laptop and compensation along with interest.

Whilst, in my opinion, Zurich are the worst insurance company on the planet, they are probably not alone. A recent report showed that the average car insurance policy runs for 18,000 words taking the average driver over an hour to read. Whilst insurers would claim that they are making sure they cover all eventualities, the cynics, me included, would simply say that they are including as many reasons as possible in order to decline an insurance claim.

According to Fairer Finance, the creators of the report, Endsleigh had the biggest policy containing 37,674 words, more than George Orwell’s classic, Animal Farm. Sheila’s Wheels were next with 32,860 words followed by Esure at 32,631 words. LV was by far the lowest at 6,901 words with next best being Nationwide at 9,302 words.

Fairer Finance are running a campaign to remove unnecessary small print in insurance policies. In order to make the point they analysed over 40 insurance policies, coming up with the average number of words. I agree with them, finance documents have already been scrutinised to keep them simple so applying the same rules to insurance policies is way overdue.

73 percent of people admit to not reading their insurance documents whilst only 17 percent admit to reading and understanding their policies. The conclusion reached by Fairer Finance was that paper is being wasted and raises the question why one company can have a policy of just 7,000 words whilst another uses 5 times as many words to say the same thing.

The Plain English Campaign said that the findings which revealed that some policies were longer than a major novel is a disgrace. A spokesman went on to say, ‘It is difficult to see that this is anything other than a cynical ploy, designed to confuse and frustrate the customer.’

I would go further and say that the longer the policy the more likely they have included obstacles to meeting  legitimate claims. Avoid them and also avoid Zurich who are incompetent crooks. Let’s see what they have to say when they read this, I still have all the evidence – give it your best shot you idiots! Oh and this isn’t the end – this is just the beginning!

That’s why I respectfully accepted the findings of the Ombudsman but refused the proposals as the compensation after 2 and a half years was insufficient. If you have had a claim with Zurich refused please let me know, whether it is car related or not. By Graham Hill

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