01 December 2010

Over The Barrel...

You do not realise it until it happens before your very eyes. Insurance companies have you over the barrel in a lot of ways by the very complex and cunning ways they structure their insurance products. I had to get a Compulsory Third Party / Green Slip insurance certificate today. You are encouraged to shop around and find the best deal. There was no best deal in that sense. My green slip pretty much irrespective of where I went to get it was going to set me back AUD 472.42.

I have my comprehensive car insurance with NRMA and I am supposedly entitled to a discount if I have more than one insurance product with them. My Green Slip was discounted from something above AUD 600 to AUD 472.42. To me that is almost fraudulent. A company that I have no associations with will do it for AUD 472.42 and a company that I have insurance products with where I am entitled to a discount will do it for AUD 472.42. Go figure!

In the end, I opted for NRMA. I did this because in a lot of ways I felt I was over the barrel. The reality is that I will soon be needing home content insurance and as such a third insurance product with NRMA is allegedly going to entitle me to even greater discounts. Excuse my skepticism, but my guess is that the NRMA will ratchet-up the basic cost of my insurance and then discount it to a level that I could get it from elsewhere.

Then the decision really becomes one of convenience. If I am going to be paying within a few dollars of premiums that I can get elsewhere then it makes sense, at least to me, to have all my insurance needs at the one place. Simply, what I make up on the merry-go-round I lose on the swing anyways. So, it really is a very much break even proposition. It is sort of like feeling that this is the least painful shafting I will be getting overall in terms of having complete insurance cover across the board for everything that needs to be insured.

I think the realisation that I was over the barrel was a sobering one in a lot of ways. For when I told the NRMA sales person that I had a non-discounted offer of AUD 472.42 from another insurer that I held no policies with at this point in time, her answer was a simple "So, you want the green slip or not? Can't you see we are busy today?" I took the green slip from the NRMA for the reasons I noted earlier. And, I did not feel too bad about getting shafted, I was just kind of glad to have it out of the way for another 12 months.

The NRMA logo should really read "Helping people [to empty their wallets]".


Jen Jen Qld said...

I ran into a similar sticky point with Hertz recently.
To avoid the usually 40+ minute queue at Sydney airport to get my hire car, I signed up for gold membership.

However, an anonymous order over the internet for a basic car is $80+ cheaper than using my membership cars which includes a discount.

I decided that 40+ minutes of my time is worth saving $80 of my money.

I do wonder how many other people don't check/shop around for deals and end up paying too much.

Rob Baiton said...

@ JJQ...

Good Morning!

I hope life is treating you and yours well?

Here's the thing, I did shop around and they were almost dollar for dollar the same. What was weird was that NRMA was the same as everyone else and I was supposed to be getting a discount from them.

Similar in all too many ways as your experience with Hertz.

Sadly, I have gotta have CTP / green slip insurance to register the car.

Ho hum...

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