Sunday, January 21, 2007

Car Insurance in Ireland ... yes, but ...

Yeah, I know I have not been blogging for a long time - but one of my new year's resolutions is to keep this blog alive by posting at least once a week.


I am pretty sure everyone remembers that old joke:

"Have you heard that they give away Mercedes-Benz cars on the Red-square in Moscow? Yes, but ...  not on Red-square in Moscow but in front of the Winter Palace in Sankt Petersburg, not Mercedes-Benz but bicycles, and they do not give - they still"

Well actually I felt like this for the last couple of days trying to finalize my car insurance in Ireland. I believe this is part of the answer-quick-forget-if-it's-right culture in Ireland but this time it went way too far.

Before we bought our car some time ago we asked around all our friends if there is any way to get a cheaper car insurance. And we have been told that if we will get it from Tesco/Hibernian they will acknowledge my 6 years of no-claims and get us a huge discount. We did so, compared with others - and it was really true (well, we thought so at that time). It turned out that we only had to get PZU (a polish insurance company) to send a letter confirming that no claims have been made for the last 5+ years, and got it translated by the Polish Embassy; and our car insurance will drop from €1000 to €400.

Cool, piece of cake we thought. PZU'd send the letter pretty fast, I translated it, and sent off to the Polish Embassy for confirmation (together with a check on €60). They sent it back pretty soon as well, but since we were gone for almost a month, I called Tesco to make sure they will wait for this letter another month. "No problem" they said.

Once we got back, I'd collected the letter with the translation and re-sent it together with my car insurance agreement to Tesco. Everything according to the schedule...

And all started to go wrong. First Tesco could not find my letter (it was a registered post so I know they got it on time). Finally, they told me that I can get the no-claims bonus but ... I have to cancel my other insurance (from my previous insurer on my second car). I thought "what a hack?". l It took me a while to understand that obviously there is a rule that you cannot get discount on insurance on more than one car. Stupid, isn't it? Anyway, I was trying to explain that it is not possible to unregister my second car in Poland because I do not own it just by myself. It did not help.

I went over the whole agreement, all documents attached to the agreement, small caps notes - there was no saying I cannot get discount if I own another car that has insurance with no-claims bonus. Finally I found it - they put this information in the FAQ. Pretty professionally, isn't? But AFAIC FAQ is not a part of an agreement.

Anyway, I tried to save what I could by finding another company. I went to AXA. I knew what to ask about - my second car. Surprisingly, I have been transfered to a polish speaking person (so I am pretty sure there was nothing lost in translation). I have stared with my question. They told me - it is ok. You can have two cars, well, the discount will not be so big, but still. So I said - carry on with the quote ... €500. Pretty nice I thought. What is more - they do not need the translation from the Polish Embassy (cool!, but I already have it)

I went to AXA the next day to sign the agreement (you cannot do it over the Internet :( ). And I have heard that I cannot get the no-claim bonus, because the car is going to be insured on myself and my wife as the named driver (another strange Irish custom I have to get used to - you cannot drive a car that is not insured on your name)... but I got a quote from you!  Well, yes, I can get a no-claims bonus (around €1000) with my second car insured back in Poland, but ... I cannot insure anyone else as the named driver on this one. Well, Ewelina would not be to happy if she could not drive the car.

And, so defeated by the stupid Irish law (I do not claim Polish is any smarter most of the times) I came back to Tesco, paid what was missing to the full insurance.


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21 comments:

Oneqler said...

So you're looking at a car in the dealer's lot and a slick, grinning salesperson comes up to and instantly becomes your best friend. But look out...hidden inside that smiling row of pearly whites is a row of razor-sharp teeth that will rip you--and your bank account--to shreds before you can blink an eye. carinsuranceshopping.blogspot.com

David said...

Couldn't you get Polish insurance on the Irish car? I've heard of some czech people doing that with czech insurance?

Sebastian Ryszard Kruk said...

an interesting idea ...

Kieran said...

Interesting. Since I have been driving alone my car, I had no idea of the obstacles people need to do through to register for the "extra" . Wouldn't it be great if companies that give information like car history check actually give more details on the insurance too. I wouldn't mind knowing some tips where the car was previously insured and for how much...

bajen said...

Hiya, my husband is going to work in poland for one year, and looking to take his irish car. Anyone knows of Irish insurers providing long term insurance cover/green card? any suggestions as to best way to proceed? get insurance in poland, may be? Thanks

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Steven said...

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Most people don’t have the money to pay for the losses (property damage, injury, death) they might cause while driving, so governments require drivers to carry a certain amount of insurance to cover any losses they might cause others to suffer (Liability).

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jeffrey said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jeffrey said...

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LC David said...

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