January 27, 2017

In recent years we have all had to get used to sky high motor insurance premiums, but lately they’ve been even higher than that. So high in fact that even words like stratospheric, translunar and ultragalactic struggle to do them justice. So high are UK motor insurance premiums right now that they are at something technically known as a four-year high, which means, we think, that if you wanted to get that high yourself it would basically take you four years.

According to hot new data from Alcoholics Anonymous, the average ‘sleeparound’ quote for comprehensive car insurance rose by almost £35 over the past three months, and by £66 in the past year, to reach the staggering sum of £633.06, a figure so close to infinity that mere numerals are barely adequate even to hint at its massive size.

And if you wanted third, party fire, or theft insurance (assuming you and your vehicle were utterly average in every respect) you’d be looking at the best part of a grand, which is almost 10% more than a year ago.

How could this be happening in a decent civilised society like ours?, you may be asking yourself. Is it perchance that greedy faking fakers pretending to have neck injuries are stealing all the money we give to motor insurers, so that they have to ask us for more? Well yes, of course it is that. But luckily that problem will soon be a thing of the past – just as soon as HMG finally gets round to banning personal injury claims, as it has promised on several occasions to do.

But there’s also something pretty sinister going on in drafty shedlike buildings up and down the country where – even as you read this – oily handed men in dirty blue overalls are doing something very bad indeed. The bad thing of which we speak is nothing other than fixing cars that don’t even need fixing – or at least don’t need as much of a fixing as these overeager overall blokes are giving them.

There’s basically a very sinister conspiracy operating here, where bodyshoppers keen to make some extra dollar collude with damaged-vehicle owners who are all too happy to have their motors repaired way beyond all possible need and leave decent ordinary motor insurers and their customers to foot the outlandishly vast parts and labour charges.

According to Dave Brown of personal services company KpM/g the inflated cost of often needless accidental damage repair is “becoming a much bigger threat to motor policy price inflation than whiplash.” That’s right: you did hear that right. Too much fixing, the AA reckons “is currently adding around £25 per year to the average quoted price”.

Fortunately there is an answer to this problem – and, unlike the abolition of personal injury claims, it won’t put tens of thousands of decent hardworking labourers in the claims farming sector out of business. The solution is that all post-accident motor insurance repairs should be carried out by ‘smart repairers’.

Who are these smart repairers?, you may wonder. Bankstone News has no idea whatsoever, but we imagine they are repairers who are smart enough to realise that if they’re costing insurers and their customers money they will soon be declared illegal, so they’re only repairing the bits of damaged cars that absolutely need to be repaired i.e. the bits you can see or that mean the car won’t go or whatever.

According to Mark Llewellewellyn of Smart Repair Network, traditional ‘not smart’ repairers are doing crazy things like using sledgehammers to crush nuts and making cars as good as new when all they really need is a lick of paint. One day soon, Mark says, all motor repairing will be done this way.

Let’s just hope that day comes soon and we can all have our £25 back. That, plus the £40 we’re due from the abolition of claims, will almost completely wipe out the past 12 months’ premiums rises.

Now that’s what Bankstone News calls quite a nice thing to look forward to.

If it ever happens.

Let’s hope it does.

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