Magazine article The Spectator

Real Life: Melissa Kite

Magazine article The Spectator

Real Life: Melissa Kite

Article excerpt

After a year of affordable car insurance, I knew I had to be in for it when my premium came up for renewal. Nothing prepared me, however, for the quote that came through from Aviva, who I am thinking of re-naming Amorta, or Adversa, which just sounds more appropriate.

You may recall that after I won my personal injury dispute with no liability or fault on my record after three years of fighting, I was refunded thousands of the sky-high premiums Aviva had been charging me while the case was going on -- because, naturally, they had to assume I was guilty of causing spinal injuries to two members of the non-working classes by bumping into the back of their people-carrier at 5 mph in a traffic queue on Streatham High Road until I could prove I had done no such thing.

Once that little legal nightmare was settled, my premium plummeted from four figures to £25 a month, although I knew that couldn't last.

As the renewal loomed, I feared it would go up. But I had ten years' protected no claims bonus so, really, how high could it go?

Oh, it could go. It could go all the way, baby. From £25 a month, Avivaaaaaagh had somehow got to the figure of £72 a month, or £832 a year.

I rang them and they did the usual thing of knocking a few pounds off when I complained. But they could offer no explanation for the increase. 'Unfortunately,' said the chap, 'we don't have access to why the quote has gone up. It's the pricing team who does that.'

Really? And there was me thinking it had been done by the cleaning lady. I asked whether he could go away and ask the pricing team and he went away. The unfeasibly happy Aviva theme tune played for a bit. Then he came back and said: 'There's no way we can divulge that information. All we can say is that it is down to circumstances beyond your control.'

Genius. Pure genius. So I gave up and went on And then things got a whole lot worse. For some reason, it wouldn't accept my address. When I tried to select my house number, it would only let me select the number 30, which is not where I live.

Also, in asking me to describe my job, it gave me a hundred options, none of which was remotely what I do. It allowed me to select writer, but insisted I chose an 'industry'. …

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