meerkatsHad to spend a bit of time late last night, continued this morning, to insure my Land Rover. Very pleasing to see how some things have moved on. And some haven’t. So here’s the latest journey between me and my suppliers, tracked ‘Me2B‘ style. Any comments from insurers welcomed, on or offline.

To be honest I wouldn’t have even checked had not the quote from the existing insurers looked a bit out of kilter. RH Insurance is a broker by phone and my old cars are with them. I’ve tried to give them our modern cars too as their service by phone is exemplary, their processes fast and simple. Renewal of the old cars last month took less than 2 minutes. Perfect except for price, no need for fancy technology.

Simplifies my paperwork to be with one supplier #Me2B.

So, last night:

I check quoted on LV because the house insurance is with them. I’ve had quotes before and I was hoping I wouldn’t have to go through inputting all the data again. Alas they have the previous quotes, but I had to enter it all again. But I got a quote that was 40% of the RH one. A wacking £500+ difference. I check quoted with ComparetheMeerkats – that annoying animal still works to remember who to go to. Again hoping they’d kept my data, but I had to enter it again.

Nevertheless both were very good user experiences, very quick and obvious, big buttons etc. I noticed you can now type the year instead of endless scrolling (well in my case anyway!) and occupations are pre-populated. Meerkats was particularly good at pre-filling the forms with the most likely answers so that doing nothing was the action to take. Obvious but so few people do it. They’ve obviously started working on completion and optimisation. Well done cases of Best Service Is No Service #BSINS

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LV came in near the top of the table meaning they were confirming their front runner slot. Admiral were 20% ahead on the pricing but only £40. But I remember Admiral’s poor paperwork and processes and am reluctant to go there again. Interestingly the Meerkats gave them an independent rating of 4.5/5 stars. Have they improved?

So I went back to the LV site from the Meerkat site and took the quote through, but the price was different from the direct quote, even after fiddling with excesses. Going back to the LV direct quote the message read ‘problem with website, they’re working on it’. Time for bed!

This morning I went back but could only retrieve the Meerkats derived quote. But chat to the rescue. Jamie answered quickly but was a bit dozy….frankly I’d have hung up if it was the phone and I wasn’t looking at other things. But it worked and differences were explained. I asked him he could match the Admiral quote which was 20% lower. An elaborate “no” worthy of an Audi salesman was so blasé that even I, the customer, nudged him back with a “well you could at least TRY and sell the benefits of LV”.

That nonchalance led me to try one more route, into another favourite, NFU. Knowing they don’t quote online, nevertheless I found on the website a number to NFU Direct so I didn’t have to call the branch. A most helpful lady did have our data from a few years back when they had the fleet before Admiral brought in multicar. She took me through their process. What was so striking was how she had to read all those annoying scripts that you glance at online, how she had to ask questions that other insurers don’t. And she asked the questions that covered the data they already had. Although as well done as a person could do it, it felt so clunky after the slickness of today’s internet offerings. Is that compliance overload or what? Personally I think it’s front loading the compliance statements and confirmations in the conversation when they can be perfectly well covered after we’ve got to a point of deciding if we’re doing business. In fact the quote was well out of range so it had no bearing. A simple ‘has anything changed?’ and “ok, we’ll get the quote and check the details again afterwards” would have transformed it. She did sell benefits & differentiation well at all points. But 100% out on price despite talking to the brokers – sorry!

So I’d rather do business with RH or NFU who I like, even if they don’t have the technology. I’m happy to use an aggregator to check prices, but have no loyalty to them getting a fee. Chat is better than phone, but only if the person on the other end is trained to have a conversation. But a trusted-enough brand, simple technology and a massive price differential beats a desire to do business with your favourites however well they empathise.

That could be reduced to price gap over service. Underwriters beware – the tools I have make it possible for me to see how well you’re doing your job, at least in the short term. #Me2B

So if you’re mentioned above, let’s get a chat going with your underwriting colleagues about customer experience and the tools we customers have in a Me2B world.