At the beginning of last month I wrote about changing insurers for the Ninja, and moving away from Hastings Premier because expensive, and going to Kawasaki Insurance because cheaper.
Well there’s been an interesting development.
This morning I got a letter from Kawasaki Insurance to say ‘You haven’t sent us your proof of no claims. If we don’t get that in the next 14 days we’re going to cancel your policy’ (and probably keep the full year’s premium that I’ve paid – although they didn’t actually say that bit).
So I got on the phone to Hastings Premier because even though the Covid-19 lockdown is in full effect and I can’t go out on the Ninja, I want to have continuous insurance. It keeps my pristine NCB healthy and intact.
Unfortunately my call to Hastings Premier was pointless and fruitless in equal measures.
Their IVR actually said ‘We’re not taking any calls from you because you don’t tick the right boxes’.
So the place I’m in right now is either get the NCB proof out of Hastings Premier (not possible) or forfeit my new policy with Kawasaki Insurance, probably lose my annual premium, and definitely lose the four years NCB.
Although this is about motorbike insurance companies, the general gist of what I’m saying applies to car insurance companies.
Because they all operate on the same basic set of principles.
My insurance for the Ninja expires at the end of this month.
I’ve been with the same company for two years, so when I got the ‘we’re going to rollover your insurance’ email I almost didn’t check the market.
Yes, there was an increase on my annual premium, but it wasn’t an astronomical increase.
And then one of those annoying little meerkats popped in to my head, or maybe it was the fat Welsh opera singer.
I checked. And instead of £320 from my insurance company of the last two years I was given a quote of £180 from Kawasaki Insurance.
That’s some difference, I thought.
So I did the deal.
Rang Kawasaki Insurance, answered all their questions, put on an extra which increased the annual premium by just £17, and then I paid for the lot.
The next call was to my insurance company of two years.
I told them I wasn’t going to rollover; they asked why, so I told them.
Then they started to haggle with me and that’s when I started to get angry. I’ve done the deal. You lost. Get over it.
I explained I’d done the deal, paid the money.
They kept on trying to haggle with me.
Then the person I was talking to revealed she could see what I had agreed to with Kawasaki Insurance.
She said stuff like ‘Oh, you’ve put down that you work in a different industry. That would change your premium with us’, and ‘I see you have devalued your bike, that would make a difference with us too,’ and ‘I see you’ve reduced the amount of mileage you will do next year. We could get very competitive on that new information too.’
I then got really angry.
I changed my employer. I do the same job I just work in the pharmaceutical industry. In all honesty, how can that make a single bit of difference to my insurance premium?
And of course I devalued my bike. First of all if I was in an accident your loss adjuster is only going to offer me market value. And secondly the bike has depreciated in the last two years.
And the reason my mileage estimate for the next 12 months is lower is because I’m going to have less time for big trips this year.
But as I was saying these things I was getting more and more angry with the sheer brass neck of Hastings Premier as the person on the other end of the phone kept insisting they could match the quote I had agreed to from Kawasaki Insurance.
That Hastings Premier would even consider they could increase my premium to take my insurance over £300, and that they could even have the nerve to try to keep me as a loyal customer, when they *must have known* what I was likely to get offered if I shopped around.
There’s taking the mick, and there’s Hastings Premier.
Do we get tired of the ‘same old thing’ (even if that ‘same old thing’ is what used to take our breath away and give us butterflies in our excited little tummies)?
And when I say ‘in our excited little tummies (except I just typed ‘timmies and I have no idea what an excited little timmy might be, other than a hyperactive five-year old child)…
Where was I?
Oh yes, and when I say ‘in our excited little tummies’ I’m sortov speaking for humankind, because I’m not a ruminant.
Back to the topic of thinking of being unfaithful.
I consider myself to be a true and loyal person.
For example, my current motorbike is a Kawasaki ZX10R, and my previous motorbike was a Kawasaki ZX9R.
The motorbike before that was a Triumph Daytona 955i, and the motorbike before that was a Triumph Daytona 955i.
So I think you can see the pattern here and possibly get an insight into my brand loyalty.
I loved the Daytonas. Their 1,000cc triple engines made a delicious sound. They were fast, responsive (and never, ever sluggish or brutish), and very nimble machines.
And oh, so comfortable. So comfortable in fact that I rode one from the UK, around Spain, and home again.
But Triumph, in their not very infinite wisdom, dropped out of the 1,000cc Sportsbike market. Idiots.
With the 955i getting long in the tooth, and falling behind in the world of biketech, my only choice was between dropping down to a 675cc Daytona or switching brands.
Although not really underpowered, the 675cc Daytona isn’t the same high-performance workhorse that its 1,000cc cousins were. The switch to another brand was the only real option.
I loved the ZX9R so much I put 18,000 miles on it in 18 months; that’s a lot of miles for a motorbike.
And when she too started showing signs of ageing, the upgrade to the shiny and brand new ZX10R was another easy decision.
I love(d) the ZX10R.
Part hoodlum, part thug, part perfect dinner-party host, packed with all of the latest computing, and a wonderfully responsive bike. She knows/knew what I want to do (and reacts to that impulse) before I even know what I want to do!
I’ve had her from brand-spanking new, I’ve looked after her meticulously and in the coming Spring she will be exactly three years old.
I wouldn’t change her for the world.
So why is it, in these quiet weeks (when the weather is so bad that getting out on any kind of a motorbike is next to impossible) that I’ve been considering unfaithful thoughts?
Why have I been looking at the 2019 Yamaha YZF-R1 and thinking about trying one out?
Update: I took the ZX10R out for a little run around the village this afternoon. I think I’m keeping her
Despite a significant hiatus in the blogging, rumours (as Twain M said) of my demise have been greatly exaggerated (as you can see by the very way these words are forming on your phone, tablet, laptop, PC, external monitor, or Smart TV).
(get a move on, it’s time you set the scene. Ed)
I am in bed at the shockingly early time of 8.30pm.
It is Saturday.
The Eurovision is on t’telly.
The Beast (as I have affectionately named the ZX10R) has still not had her her gearbox rebuild.
But she’s been called in, and will be done a week today.
Yay! Booyah! And \o/ and other down with the kids expressions of joy.
I’ll be glad to get her done, especially as I am commuting to work on her.
The change from being an employed to a self-employed person meant, in my case, the company car went back.
My very recently received tax statement told me that I paid over £5k/year extra tax, just for the pleasure of having that car.
That’s £12,500 extra tax I handed over to HMRC, while I was in that job
If I’d realised the magnitude of that cash penalty I believe I’d have decided to leave that job much sooner!
Spring is upon us and commuting on The Beast is smile-making fun.
And soon (too soon) it’ll be Summer, and the commuting will be similar, fun wise.
But Autumn is lurking in the unsuspecting future, and that calls for an alternative form of transport.
I’m quite taken with the Mercedes-Benz E class, 220i.
Good quality used models are as cheap as chips, and there are many in the used car market.
But we will see where my head is at when it comes to purchase time.
In the meantime I’ll keep commuting on The Beast (though I do need to find a way to tame her assertive behaviour, especially when filtering in heavy traffic).
Right, it’s taken half an hour to tap this out on my phone.
I’m off to watch Eurovision through the medium of The Twitter until I fall asleep. In about 18 minutes.