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LEE BOYCE: It's more vital than ever to check your insurance renewal

Loyalty penalty: Esure increased the cost of Money Mail publisher Lee's home and content cover by 77%

Another month, another sickening insurance renewal quote dropped in the Chez Boyce mailbox.

The cost of our home and contents cover will be £466.57, if we stick with Esure, the same insurer we have used since we moved in seven years ago.

Last year it was £263.67. The new quote is about 77% higher. Going back further, in 2018 our cover cost just £185.86.

Loyalty penalty: Esure increased the cost of Money Mail publisher Lee's home and content cover by 77%

Loyalty penalty: Esure increased the cost of Money Mail publisher Lee’s home and content cover by 77%

In the renewal email, I was encouraged to speak to the company’s chatbot.

After a brief exchange, I was told, “We have changed the way we evaluate our policies this year and have introduced a new evaluation platform.”

Then, two minutes later: “I’ll be honest, Lee, based on the coverage you have, that would be the best price we would offer.” I can’t get this to move – I’m so sorry!

The bot even added a sad face emoji as if to drive the point home.

The reasons for such a premium increase should be explained on a case-by-case basis in all correspondence. Yet they are not.

My case is another example of the giant insurance renewal quotes Money Mail has been highlighting in recent weeks. Quotes we are expected to accept no questions asked.

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Reader David emailed this week to say he bought a car last March and insured it for £400.68.

The renewal came this month: £959.78. He went to the insurer’s website and applied as a new customer, with the same details. The quote was £617.97. He found even lower rates elsewhere.

These increases raise questions about the impact of the loyalty penalty rules introduced by the Financial Conduct Authority last year.

Needless to say, without a proper explanation of our renewal quote or any wiggle room on price, Ms. B and I are off. We cannot bear such a rise when we have not even made a complaint.

I plugged our details into a comparison website, and within minutes the best quote from a name I recognized with the same coverage and deductible was lower than last year’s price. This means that, for the second time in 2023, we have dropped our insurer due to cost.

Last month, I wrote here that my car insurance renewal increased by 21% before I found much cheaper identical coverage elsewhere.

Now it’s more vital than ever to check your renewal quote and shop around. Otherwise, you will simply be scammed for your loyalty.

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Southend SOS

Allow me to mist eyes for a moment on my first love.

When I was five I first visited Roots Hall and have been a huge supporter of Southend United, my local football team, ever since.

Since the early 1990s I’ve followed the Shrimpers home and away, and spent thousands of pounds on season tickets, match tickets and club items. Being a football fan is not cheap.

Yet this time next week, the club may not exist anymore. In short, he faces a liquidation order from the tax authorities.

It is a community club with an average gate of 6,000 fans in the fifth tier of English football. All fans like me can do is watch and wait to see if a big tax bill is paid by the owner.

Whether it’s a football club, insurer or bank, why do the little people (i.e. you and me) pay our way, play by the rules but always seem to do the costs when the big bosses are wrong? Look at James Benamor, the founder of Amigo Loans.

He’s enjoying the high life as his former business is in crisis and customers are looking for bad sell payouts. These failed leaders must not be allowed to get away with this.

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Widows watch

Earlier this month Money Mail lifted the lid on the customer service collapse at Scottish Widows. Since then, more troubling cases have landed in our inbox.

One reader, Lee, says he has been waiting since August for a payment after his mother passed away. It was to be paid within seven days.

He says he made 72 phone calls and sent 15 letters in an effort to resolve the issue. He has the impression that he is passed around like a “puppet”.

Scottish Widows is always in our sights, and Money Mail will continue to press the company to fix the issues highlighted by our readers.

Some links in this article may be affiliate links. If you click on it, we may earn a small commission. This helps us fund This Is Money and keep it free to use. We do not write articles to promote products. We do not allow any business relationship to affect our editorial independence.

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