Saving moneyFor years, I stuck with the same car insurance company. I thought being a valued customer – they assured me I was! – would mean saving money. My insurance costs should go down for all kinds of reasons:

  • The Ontario government introduced legislation that is supposed to reduce insurance costs by 15%.
  • I’ve been a long-time driver with no claims and no interruptions in coverage.
  • No speeding or parking tickets blemish my record.
  • I use winter tires.
  • My car parks overnight in a private garage.
  • I’ve had CAA coverage for 20+ years.
  • I work in a home office so have no daily commute in ugly traffic.
  • Most of my driving is local.
  • My car is another year older, so it’s worth less.
  • It’s a Honda Civic, for heaven’s sake, not a sports car.

Hahaha! Silly me. When instead my premium kept increasing, I got some other quotes and jumped ship for another company. Sadly, this company is singing from the same song sheet: It’s renewal time, so time to pay more for a car worth less.

In a Globe and Mail article, writer Peter Cheney calls car insurance “the wild west of compulsory services.” If you want to drive, he says, “you have no choice but to buy it – but what you pay varies wildly.” Ontario’s rates are apparently the highest in Canada.

My insurer sends out a regular newsletter, which often includes tips to reduce your insurance premium. It almost always suggests getting other quotes, so I spent far too much time this week researching options, filling in online forms and talking to eager alternate agents. Oddly enough, the quotes that came back were even higher than what I’m already paying. And when I went back to the insurer to ask if they’d match the one quote that was eight measly dollars less, they said no.  They have “no flexibility.”

Insert disbelieving snort here.

I also asked about the 15% reduction, and was told the industry is basically waiting to be forced to do it. What a surprise.

In an ideal world, insurance companies would call or write to thank you for your business, especially if it spans many years. They wouldn’t suggest the best way to save money is to get other quotes. They’d say, “How can we help you save money?” They’d say, “Your business is important to us, and here’s what we’re doing to keep it.”

I know, I’m so naive. And so optimistic to think that a company would appreciate and reward loyalty.

Do you have the same experience with your insurer?

Related posts:
More ways companies have provided customer disservice
Lamenting the “valued subscriber” line

Image: “posterize” and