Never auto-renew your car insurance with Allianz (or with anyone else, probably)

Martin Lewis over at offers this excellent advice when it comes to car insurance:

Never auto-renew. Loyalty is expensive

Nothing better illustrates car insurers preying on loyal customers than Sarah Cooper’s tweet. “My car insurance renewal is £1,200. New policy with same company is £690. How do they justify this?” They don’t. They just do it.

I’ve had my car insurance renewal notice from Allianz today. Comparing it with last year’s premium, they want an additional 51%! Nothing has changed – except that I’ve had another claim free year, bringing my total to 10. A quick check of a couple of price comparison websites showed that for the same cover the cheapest quotation was around £15 less than I’d paid this year, with 10s of quotations clustered around £10-£20 more expensive than last year. There were three or four (out of a hundred or so) that were more expensive than the Allianz renewal, but they were offering free unicorns as well. (OK, I’m fibbing about the unicorns).

I rang Allianz up. I was calm. I politely explained the situation. I was reasonable and persuasive. I asked that they considered renewing my policy at around the same price as last year, or perhaps on or around the median quotation I’d found for this year.

Their call handler was lovely, but her response was:

We don’t price match sir. I could re-quote you, but the result would be the same.

They wouldn’t budge by even a penny. I hate being taken for a fool and her excuses became less and less convincing as I suggested that they were guilty of sharp practice. I’ve cancelled my policy with them and I’ll do everything I possibly can do to make sure that I don’t use Allianz again any time soon.

So if customer loyalty is as worthless as it appears to be from this example, I wonder why so many software companies are marketing customer experience management and customer loyalty solutions?

Perhaps they’d be better off trying to sell customer disloyalty solutions instead.

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Reader Comments

  1. Arnold

    It can be even sillier than that. For four or five years in a row I went with the same policy with the same insurance company. The usual renewal came with an increase but by alternating brokers every year I renewed the policy at a lower cost to me for each of those years as I picked up the new customer discount!

  2. Jonathan

    Thank you for sharing your experience. I’ve just had exactly the same experience. Allianz have quoted me a 47% increase on my premium from last year, even though I have one more year of no claims (now 11 years) and my car is a year older.

    I’ve told them if they can’t match last year then I will switch insurance companies.

  3. Pierre

    Basically we all need to assume that insurance companies, banks, and energy companies will try to take as much money as they can from us and that they are not to be trusted. It’s a real pain, but we all need to search for the best price all of the time. I try and target my efforts on the biggest bills that I have to pay, starting with energy companies, but in the main everything has to be checked and re-checked if we ant to avoid being taken for a ride.

  4. Lucy

    Better than my renewal quote from Allianz – that’s gone from £180 to £678 despite me also having 10 years no claims this year.

  5. David

    I automatically switch every year, often flip-flopping between two insurers for years at a time, “saving” hundreds each time by always getting a new “customer discount”. In nearly 30 years I have never once had an insurer who would match a lower price.

    Even more ridiculously I had a quote for pet insurance for our dogs for nearly £1000 last year, but when I found that it had auto-renewed without my knowledge, I found an identical policy with a different insurer for under £500. As it was within the cancellation period I called the first crowd to cancel it but then spotted that the company numbers were the same, and on further investigation, that they were different trading names of the same company ! They insisted they couldn’t price match their own price, but they agreed it would be OK for me to cancel the auto-renewed policy, get a refund, and then take out the “new” policy with the “new customer” discount … go figure.

Your thoughts?