Declined Insurance

Ah, it’s the time of year again when the various motor insurers and I join battle. They hike-up the premium compared to last year’s, and I take my custom elsewhere. I had to phone my existing insurer, for which I was put on hold for 18 minutes, to ask them to not auto-renew. The woman at the other end sounded genuinely hurt and asked me why.

“Because you just stole 18 minutes of my life”, said I. “Oh, and you increased my premium by 35%. The current rate of inflation is 0.6% and I am driving fewer miles”.

“You wouldn’t be interested in seeing if we could lower the renewal?”

“You’re right. I wouldn’t”.

Well, if that wasn’t bad enough, the company I switched to proved to be an even bigger bunch of jokers. They gave me a price, which I accepted, and I duly sent them the money via my card. 20 minutes later, and they emailed to decline my custom, refusing to insure. Oh dear! I read their reasons and phoned up to have them explained. There were two grounds. 1) My estimated mileage was considerably lower than this time 12 months ago. I explained to the gentleman that there had been some kind of pandemic between then and now, and that consequently I was driving much less. I explained that, from time to time, it had featured on some of the news channels. Perhaps they hadn’t heard of it down in Essex? 2) There was an overlap between my previous policy and the one they had sold me. If I had an accident in the intervening period, it wouldn’t be clear which company would be liable. Well, my old policy will expire at 00.01am on the 8th February. My new policy would start at 00.00am on the 8 February. So in the event of my driving around at midnight on the 8th, and having an accident during that one particular sixty-second stretch of being doubly insured, a dispute between the respective insurers might occur about who covers the damage. They therefore declined to insure me. I’m the kind of customer they want- I’m middle aged, I possess a cheap car, I seldom seek to impress young ladies with handbrake turns and I never exceed the speed limit. Yet they would reject my custom for these two reasons. Interestingly, despite their refusal to insure, I had to phone up to ‘request’ a refund of the money.

Not only is valid motor insurance a legal requirement it also provides a peace of mind that should the worst happen, a deeper pocket than mine is available to set things right. Someone once told me I was only ‘religious’ because it was my insurance against going to hell. This is a rather simplistic reduction of saving faith. Yet if it really were insurance, it is far better and properly managed and distributed than the type we get for cars. If I’m only a Christian to insure my soul, what enables the non-Christian to sleep at night, knowing he has nothing against which to claim in the event of eternal loss? The Insurer of souls never declines or turns away- but neither does He pay out to those without His cover.

Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay