without dignity of thought; to be noisy, boisterous, and
bombastic in talk or declamation about insurers[2011 Smith]
In Feb last year I pulled in to the side of the road in my Skoda Octavia TDi estate to allow an oncoming vehicle to proceed over a speed hump between two parked cars. I then moved off, uphill, and remained in 1st gear as I negotiated the hump. It was one of those that span the width of the road. As I came down the other side there was a loud clunk as though the air dam had grounded. I made a mental note to check it at some point.
A short distance further on the oil light came on. I was in busy city centre traffic with nowhere to stop without obstructing flow but knew there was a DIY store up ahead with a spacious car park. As I was heading for the car park entrance the engine became noisy and I shut it down without locking the steering and coasted to safety.
As I got out I could see my route marked with a thin line of oil.
Having been towed back to my usual mechanics premises I called one of my engineers and organised a lift home for the end of the day. My mechanic phoned in the afternoon to say there was a hole the size of a fifty pence in the sump and he suggested I return home via the same route to get photo's of the speed hump which I did. I found a half house brick hiding behind the speed hump and immediately the trail of oil began.
The next day I reported this to my insurers who advised me that I should put in a claim. I followed this advice (grrrr) and was told an independent engineer would examine the car shortly. A month later the engineer turned up, examined this small hole in the sump and declared that the car would be a write off as it was 8 years old and probably had particles in the engine that could kill the turbo. " Don't worry, you're fully comp and they'll sort it for you". (GRRRRRRR!)
I was paid out two thirds of the cars purchase cost.
Since then every time I insure a vehicle I have to declare that I've made a claim, that no-one else was involved, that I "collided" with an inanimate object. The net result seems to be that my premium is 4 or 5 hundred quid higher than if I didn't collide with an inanimate object.
Hence, in my current situation, the 75 and the van certainly had to go. For the next 4 years I will be avoiding filling out insurance documents. My wife will do that and I will occasionally legally drive her car.
This wouldn't be quite so bad if, on the day I was advised to put in a claim by the ladies reproductive organ in the insurers office that they would pursue Sheffield Council for compensation. They have since denied that they would ever follow that course of action and I have discovered that Sheffield Council are very tight indeed with compensation in regard to their questionable speed humps. Shortly after buying the 75 I suffered another sickening bang as i drove over one of their tank traps. This time i stopped in the road immediately and was relieved to find no leaks. This speed hump didn't span the whole road as it was one of those Dairy Milk sections, nay more of a Yorkie chunk that strangely get referred to as speed cushions...you know, the ones that are several millimetres higher than regulation allows with deep gouges along the top.
In hindsight I should have had the sump replaced, engine flushed, risked it with the Octavia.
Not finished ranting yet...
The insurers for the van couldn't draw their monthly winnings from my bank as they had recorded my account number incorrectly. It took them three months to inform me that "due to being unable to take payment for my insurance I should contact them immediately and give them another bank account or they would take action etc etc etc". THREE MONTHS!!....yet a week before contacting me they took Ã‚Â£177.00 from my account?!? Plonkers.
Not finished still...
The insurers of the 75 were informed that I no longer had the car and wished to terminate my policy. No probs, you will owe us the balance of Ã‚Â£44.01 to terminate, no probs.
One week later, they are demanding immediate settlement of Ã‚Â£44.01, immediate return of the policy "it is an offence to drive the vehicle etc etc". WHY DIDN'T THEY JUST TAKE THE PAYMENT FROM MY ACCOUNT WHERE THEY NORMALLY TAKE THEIR INSTALLMENT?? or at least explain that they wouldn't do that in the circumstances....
The van insurer also want a copy of my driving licence and proof of my no claims bonus all of a sudden. They say I should have received it from the insurer when I finished with them after last year. If they don't receive it within 7 days of this letter they have been authorised to cancel my policy (another request for the policy returning and threats of action etc).....my only complaint being that THEY WERE MY VAN INSURER LAST YEAR SO WHY OH WHY OH WHY..???
GRRRRRRRRR!!! SHOOT ME NOW....
I'll now name and shame them. ANYSCAMMINGINSURERTHATYOUCANPOSSIBLYTHINKOF.COM
Having so much time on my hands I will be sending some very carefully worded replies to my insurers. I will probably want to know why one of them, when obviously offering work experience to young people, doesn't vet the letters they send or at least ensure that sufficient training is administered before allowing these persons to communicate directly with customers.(perhaps I'll put insure instead of ensure). I'll also suggest that they have brought me to realise I no longer require a van and therefore have decided to sell the vehicle and will be terminating my policy.... or should I go the route of having become depressed and suicidal following my recent loss of employment and the spate of heartless communications I have received...no that would be completely wasted, they would probably inform me that they would have to take this information into account should I prove to have life cover with them.