On House Insurance

Our house insurance premium renewal is due. A letter from the broker arrived last week. This year’s premium demand was €861. I checked last year’s premium: €681. I do enjoy an anagram as much as the next guy, but that represented a 26% increase.

I rang the broker and spent five minutes on hold before getting through to the motor insurance department. They rerouted my call and I got to speak to a young man in the house insurance department. He explained that the insurance company would have increased the replacement cost of the building in line with inflation. (Inflation is running at about 2% last time I looked.) He advised that I check a civil engineering web site to obtain a realistic estimate of the cost of replacing our house.

That helped. I rang back and gave him my reduced estimate and he went off to obtain a new quote from the insurance company: €749.

I was about to accept that quote when I noticed an anomaly on the policy document.

“Hold on a minute,” I said. “Our house doesn’t have a thatched roof.”

He prevaricated about how such a mistake could have been made. ‘Thatched Roof’, he told me, is the first item on some drop-down menu of their antiquated computer system. Maybe I’m being unreasonable, but I thought that was a pretty lame excuse unless the keyboard operator was wearing boxing gloves on the day he keyed in my details.

Nothing happened for a week, so I rang the broker again. “Haven’t you received the new quote?” he said. “I’ve got it down to €686.”

I told him I hadn’t received it and asked if he’d taken care of the thatched roof.

“That has been removed,” he said.

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