Poor results from Chris Knott. Insurance change of vehicle.

Lost it

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As a result of seeing this forum, we took the step in 2014 of placing numerous policies with Chris Knott Insurance services.
My Xtype
My wife's Lexus.
My Citroen Work van.
My XJ8.
A Ford Focus that my daughter was using to learn to drive. We were told that they would cover her to learn to drive in it as it was insured in my wife's name. This turned out to be a lie.

Another Ford Focus derv model.

So all in all we have placed a lot of business through them, I have recommended them to other people because I thought they were a cut above the rest. Turns out not to be the case.

So 2nd year came along.

We kept the X type and the Lexus on cover, the prices were no less or more than any quotes we could get online, both policies were renewed on 29th March this year.
We recently bought my daughter a Renault Clio to use to learn to drive and hopefully pass her test, she takes her test soon so we will be seeking cover for her when she passes. But Chris Knott wanted an extortionate premium for this car... So we didn't use them.

We still had to insure the Focus for my daughter to use to gain road experience. I figure we pay an instructor to teach her how to pass the test, then we sit in with her to give her time behind the wheel, confidence if you like. But it was pretty extortionate to insure her for a car without a licence so we went for one of these "learner driver policies".

The way "it" works is that the car has to be insured and owned by a qualified driver, then a policy is taken out by the learner driver to allow them to drive it as long as there is a qualified driver alongside. It's quite convenient, if a little pricey but it does the job. And the companies are quite flexible, Adrian Flux have done us a smashing deal under cutting everyone else for this insurance by 20%. So they will be in line to provide a quote.

Well, my wife drove the Clio and decided she should have one too. So another one was purchased, we asked Chris Knott to change the policy. They initially wanted to CHARGE us for changing from a group 26 vehicle to a group 9 vehicle, then told us there would be no refund. Gobsmacked would cover my reaction.

So we have cancelled the policy. And gone elsewhere for the Clio. Online quotes show a 40% difference in premiums for the two cars. We won't be using them at all after this.

Disgraceful.

I fully understand that I might just be an unlucky customer, having an out of the ordinary experience but as we have spent approaching £2000 with them in one year, 2014, you'd think they would wish to retain the custom?
 
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JimC64

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Hmmmm, just goes to show you, perhaps all is not what it seems at times?

I always use Gocompare EVERY year no matter what and spend time hustling here n there. In the early days I could save upwards of £150 - £300 on some policies ( shows you the premiums )
This always made it worthwhile, covering a days wages or more at times.
In recent years as the premium's have fallen, I can still average saving of between £50 - £80 per year by shopping around......so worth it.
 

Davidsw

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I used Adrian flux for years and since they are a broker I assumed they were giving me the best price . When renewing the XKR's insurance I saved £300 by going with Morethan , when I told Adrian Flux they said they could match the price I had been quoted . I asked why did they not offer me the saving from the start . Wouldn't insure with them again on principal.
 

JimC64

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David, I hear you!

Brokers by their nature may look for the best price, but they have to make money too, so their chunk is added on. Like you I'm never a fan of "price matching" after the fact, Why didn't you give me your best shot first time round, springs to mind??
A simple check on Gocompare / Moneysupermarket etc and then a ring around the direct suppliers can really pay dividends and result in significant savings.

I managed to save around £90 this time around which was ok, but the big savings were on the excess, I was quoted £600 and ended up at £100, a £500 saving for me IF I need to use it of course.
 

Lost it

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Well what they have told us takes the biscuit..

Apparently we had about £80 knocked off the original price because the insurance company supplying the policy quoted on the assumption that my wife stays with a car that she is familiar with, therefore there is less risk. So if we change it, that £80 gets added back on, there's no refund. Made me laugh out loud that one.

So I have asked them if this means that the new quote we had from the same insurance company for £130 means that we are only actually paying £40, because they have "added" £80 because my wife isn't familar with the car?

BTW my wife is on my Trade policy, she drives the same things I do...

No answer yet. They must think we came down with next autumns leaves.
 

Brook_lands

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Afraid they are all much the same. Pull you in with a low quote year 1 and then ramp it up on renewal in the hope that you just automatically renew. At the end of the day they are there to make money not to be your friend. Its very rare that I stay with the same company for more than one year as as soon as the renewal quotes come through I go looking for other quotes and nearly always find something better value for money (sometimes with the same company but as a "new" customer.

Changing anything mid policy and they have got you. To show how silly it all is, I'm 3 months into a policy and wanted to change the vehicle on the policy. The car that was insure was a 2000 registered car, the replacement was an identical model except that it was a year older and blue instead of black. I was expecting a £25 admin charge, fair enough they were doing some additional work but, and I'm glad I was sitting down, they wanted and extra £125, ie £25 admin + £100 additional premium. Given that the original policy was £200 for the year then suddenly I'm on the equivalent of £333. The reason given was the same as above I was more likely to make a claim because it was a car I was "unfamiliar with" despite it being identical to the previous one.
 

ChrisKnottIns

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I'm sorry your experience has not been as you expected but please remember we are the broker so the charges for changing vehicles, etc. are not ours but your insurer's. We're merely telling you what they want to charge for any given change.

I agree it is a weird one where you're changing to a lower grouped vehicle that the premium might increase. With some insurers though there is a discount built in for longevity of ownership and when you switch to a different car that no longer applies. I'm sure the advice you were given was correct and I'm grateful for your business. With that comes our regret that we couldn't keep you but it was just unfortunate that the insurer wasn't helping us much with your scenario.
 

Winchester12g

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I used a broker last year for the first time ever, having had company cars for years. I had a Focus runaround prior to buying my Jag and also bought my wife a Freelander.

I had a long chat with a broker and the prices seemed pretty reasonable so I placed both policies with them, more for speed & convenience than anything. It wasn't until about 2 weeks later that I had the time to sit and look online out of curiosity, and was horrified at the difference on the Focus via Compare The Market - £300 with the same insurer!!! I called the broker the next day and was stalled with excuses for a few days before ringing back saying I'd sold the car and would like a refund.

I understand that they're in business to make money but my experience plus what I've read here cements the fact I'll never use one again.
 

JimC64

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IMO it really doesn't matter what broker you use, of course they're in business to make money and that means there's a charge on top of what you would normally expect to pay.

The simple truth is, check it out yourself and go direct and save money, end of.
An hour or two online can often save £££ and well worth the effort involved
 

Ian Sheppard

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I agree with all the above in principle, however, two points to consider. Many years ago, when I was an IFA, I could always beat Virgin, M&S or whoever on price and service because insurance companies offered me, as a broker, a reduced price which I could then add my 'mark-up' to. It was called commission and was really down to me how much I passed on to the client. If the client went directly to the insurer they paid the full price as the insurer wanted to maximise revenue. Brokers have a lot of discretion.
Second point is I can make far more in my business in a couple of hours than I can save in haggling over insurance premiums, so I spend my time where the money is, doing what I'm good at.
Having said all that we don't use a broker but instead go online!!
 
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