Hi all, I thought I include some personal experience along with some new secret I have found out recently in regards to Aviva's quotation system...
First of all as some of you may know, I have only had a Full UK License since Oct 10, and my first car was not a little 1.0 toy, but a 1.6 Fiesta MK3 SI, and when I started looking round for quotations, I was asked some stupid amounts all the way up to £10,000 or £12,000, until a came across Admiral, who quoted me £3,000.00 for the year, which was about £300 per month with the financial crap...
At the time I assumed that they were my only option, since I had no intention to drive anything smaller, and really, really liked the SI, I still do, but some bitch destroyed it for me at a junction only 2 months after I started driving it, but that’s another story...
Any how I took on the insurance with Admiral, but at £300 x month due to the fact that I have a family and two kids, and I am self-employed, sometimes I missed a payment here and there, which I always called to clear within 10 days MAX, as I know the importance of the insurance when driving.
However after only 3 missed, and repaid within 10 days, payment dates, Admiral asked me to pay the full remaining amounts, which at the time was something like £2,000, which luckily I happened to be able to pay, but this was not the only problem I had with them in regards to payments, as at the renewal time (10 months later, as I had the 10 months for a year no claim deal) Admiral decided to ask me for the full amount for the next 10 months, which worked out at over £3,000, and this was the main reason why I left them at that point.
But the above were not the only financial problems I had with Admiral, as mentioned above, even though I had taken an insurance on my Fiesta SI for 10 months, some bitch wrote the car off only 2 months into the insurance, at which point, due to life circumstances I could not afford another car, so I contacted Admiral and told them that I wanted to cancel the policy as I no-longer needed it, but once again was met with stupid company policy/terms, and was told that regardless if I had a car or not, I would still have to pay the outstanding balance, and all they could do was either add another car to the insurance, if I got myself one, or be forced to pay the full amount if I didn’t get one within so much time.
This is why I was, and I am ashamed to say this, forced to make a quick decision and purchase a Rover 45 1.6 51 plates for £600, which still made the insurance’s monthly payments to increase slightly from the £300 a month I was already paying, and the same happened in February 2011, when I wrote off the Rover 45 by smashing the oil sump in a bollard base, and got myself the current Escort Ghia x.
As stated above, at the renewal time, in Aug 2011, Admiral wanted over £3,000 all in one payment or they refused to insure me, due to the financial track record I had with them, and I was nearly about to give in, as they were the cheaper insurance I could get for my car, especially since it was now a well-known for trouble, Escort 1.8.
But one day while watching TV I saw an advert for AVIVA insurance, stating that they were not on price compare website, and all the other usual rubbish, but due to the above mentioned situation, I thought I would give it a go, and went to their website to get a quotation, and to my surprise, it was cheaper than Admiral, and were still willing to allow me to pay them in instalment, once I had paid 2 months in advance, which was “only” about £500, which is obviously cheaper than £3,000.
But the benefits of Aviva didn’t end there, Aviva offered/offers an online policy management site, where you could login to ament the policy at any time, you could download the policy documents including certificates at any times and make payments by debit/credit card should you miss a payment by direct debit.
As we are talking about the financial site, I must say that Aviva has been great on that aspect too so far, like many other companies, you can set a monthly payment date to suite you, and should the direct debit bounce for any reason, you will receive a letter within a few days informing you of this, and letting you know when the last date to make the payment would be, before the policy is automatically cancelled, and I must say that I have missed the payment direct debit 5 or 6 times since Aug 2011, without any threats or consequences, I simply pop on their website as soon as my money is available, but before the last notice day, and make a payment, after which I don’t even need to contact them or worry about anything, as the policy continues as usual until the next payment date.
Other good aspects of the financial sides are that you can cancel the policy at any time without any warnings, or written notice, but by simply calling their customer service, at which point the 2 months in advance are given back to you, and you have nothing else outstanding with them.
The only reason I know the above for sure is that in Nov 2011 I had to relocate, only 2 miles down the road, but when I went on the Aviva site to change the address, the automatic quotation service stated that I had to pay just under £100 extra a month at the new address, but when I did a new quotation on their site with the same details and car, but with new address, the price was much lower, so I called them, cancelled the policy two weeks from the date I made the call, and as soon as my 2 months in advance were back in my bank account, I took out the new policy with the new quotation, saving about £100 of the money too.
Lastly I recently found a “secret” section in their quotation system which is not made very clear, but which could save you a lot of money, and I discovered this while adding my other half as a named driver to the policy, since she passed her driving test last week.
So as mentioned above, the other day I phone Aviva inquiring on how much it would have cost me extra per month to add my other half as a named driver to the policy, and after having been asked the usual name, address and so on, I was asked how long had she had her “UK Provisional” license for as Aviva counts this as how long you had the licence, and not just how long the customer had a “Full license” for, and my other half had the provisional since she was 17 years old, making this 6 years in total, eventually I was given a price extra per month which was about £45 extra per month, which I accepted.
In the following days I started to think about my own policy price, as I remember only including, like you would do with most other insurance, only the two years I actually had a full license for, and not the entire 11 years I had the UK provisional for.
So I contacted Aviva, and explained the situation, and first of all, due to the fact that I am Italian, non-born in this country, she said “sir, you know it doesn’t count if you haven’t had a UK provisional from the beginning, or haven’t lived in the UK continually since then” so I had to put her straight, as I have lived in the UK since I was 14 years old, and got my UK provisional since I was 16 years old, then she said “by the way, I wouldn’t be too worried to make the change, as it won’t be more than £5 cheaper a month or so”, but I said that I wanted the quotation done any how as I was sure that there would have been a big difference between having the license for just under 2 years or over 11 years.
After she did the quotation, the new price went from £320 something per month, for both of us, to £227.00 per month for both of us, making it nearly £100 per month saving, which is about £1,200 per year saving, not about £5 per month as she stated.
At which point I got annoyed, as I explained that if the website quotation form was designed better, I would have known, and since I have been with them since Aug 2011, they would owe me just under £1,000 back.
Currently the refund is under investigation, which is fine, as I am not the sort of person that tend to forget, especially when we are talking of those sort of amounts owed back to me, I am more like the kind of person that would eventually write to the Chief Executive if not happy with the outcome or speed of the investigation, and may contact the FSA (UK Gov. body who regulates the financial institutes, such as insurances).
In conclusion I would say that all insurances are rubbish, you just need to deal with them smartly, and that Aviva is not one of the most rubbish insurances out there, and given that there renewal quotation is good this coming Nov, I will stay with them for another year, as I have no other reasons to change.
I hope you guys find this article as interesting to read as I did to write it, and hope that it adds value to your life by saving you some money, and making you wise to those guys’ small prints, which keep changing.
Mr Mario Genovese
Admiral's CRAP! & AVIVA (A few pros about those guys)...
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