I find myself in sympathy with Mr. Harris and his X1/9 insurance problems. My own renewal premium for a Ginetta G15 was £218 for comprehensive cover and including one year’s no claim bonus, I being twenty-five. This is from the only company I can find who rate the car as Group Four and I would regard Group Four as excessive for an 875 c.c. car. Even accepting that younger drivers are a greater risk, surely this must mean that proof that one is exceptional within the classification and does not have a claim should bring further reductions in premiums. However, my own experience and that of my friends proves this to he not true in practice and the young driver is left paying outlandish premiums.
Somehow I cannot dispel the illusion that we are being massively conned by insurance companies who fail to research adequately both the people and cars they insure.
Liverpool, Bryan Roberts
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I symphathise with Mr. V. J. M. Harris (“Letters”, July), but I doubt if motor insurers are insane; most of them stay in business. For a long time I too found motor insurance incomprehensible. I will omit the boringly extensive catalogue of anomalies which have led me to the following hypothesis:
Motor insurance premiums are decided upon by the application of two principles.
1. The price of a thing is what can be got for it.
2. If what can be got is not certain, pitch the price high.
It follows, and experience confirms, that one is going to have to pay more for having a pleasing car; and if it be an “odd” car in any way, that too will cost more. A change of vehicle often seems to be the signal for an insurer to try for more money, and it is as well then to shop around; someone can usually be found who is prepared to be, if not reasonable, at least less unreasonable. Which seems to be an unnecessary, and presumably expensive, process; but is not inconsistent with the hypothesis.
To try to start another debate here (and with a cupboard full of Motor Sports I now feel entitled to one here) does anyone else enjoy a 2.6 Mazda RX4? Group 7 insurance, I fear, but much more reliable than the Dolomite Sprint.
Kirkintilloch, Scotland. – A. L. Dick