Insurance Companies Please Take Note
Updated: Apr 20
Insuring a car in Ireland has just got harder for most drivers and I want to share my recent experiences in Spain, in the hope that insurance companies will actually take note.
On Friday the 13th, two years ago, I crashed into the car in front of me when it stopped suddenly on the motorway. Without the distraction of iPads, iPods or iPhones, I took my eyes momentarily off the Spanish car in front of me and had to have a very awkward conversation with the Policia in my pigeon Spanish.
At least, Jesus, the driver had some English which helped. Jesus is a common Spanish name, pronounced Hey-Zeus.
Saying "mi culpa", I presumed that was the end of the Spanish road for me as insurance premiums
tend to accelerate after an accident, at least they do in Ireland.
In truth, there was little damage done to Jesus´ car but the fender bender had destroyed my headlights, grill, bonet and bumper.
I told my friends that I expected my driving experience to be over because premiums rise in the aftermath of an accident but my friends were surprised by my math. My girlfriend said, “You had an accident, that´s why you pay insurance, why would you expect the costs to go up?”
As I expected, my premium did rise but I wasn't expecting it to rise 700 cent.
At less than €300 for 365 days of insurance, I didn’t mind paying the €7.00 increase.
Have Irish companies made a mistake? Have they confused cents with percents?
If not then, I hope they will please take note of the difference between dealing with insurance companies in both Ireland and Spain.
On two occasions, I have had cars destroyed when people have crashed into (my) parked cars.
In Ireland, I found my parked car, kissing a nearby wall after someone had hit it.
Putting on my Sherlock Homles hat, I tracked down the culprit who was hiding in her boyfriend´s house around the corner. Only around 20 years of age, the penalty for hitting another car was bleak. Her insurance, for example, would charge her I´m sure, more than 700 cent for the incident and the costs which are already high to begin with, could put someone off the road for a long time.
Last month in Spain, I returned to yet another parked car to find it climbing a tree and glass on the ground. Questioning the driving habits of my parked cars, I found a note on the window wiper with a name, phone number, registration number and the name of an insurance company.
There is a joke about finding a note on a car that says, “I just hit your car and people are looking at me so I´m writing this note, good luck with the car.” Luckily Jesus didn’t try that stunt with me.
Naturally sceptical of the note, especially since Renault was spelt wrong in the details but yet I had found broken Renault debris and hoped the note from yet another Spanish Jesus was legit.
His details were not correct at first and it took a month for the insurance companies to settle because the registration numbers were wrong on the note.
I guess I should have more faith in a man called Jesus. Thank you Jesus.
NOSE OUT OF JOINT: Luckily I did not do much damage to the other car.