…since I had a good rant about insurance companies. Well, it’s a new year and there are two advertisements that are really getting on my nerves at the moment. The first is a radio advert by AXA who claim to be your “local” insurance company. Drop in and get your amazingly cheap policy with no fuss. Well AXA are far from your “local” insurance company so don’t let that fool you into supporting your own. In fact unless you live in Dublin or Derry you won’t be talking to somebody in the same county as you when you call them. On top of that, the great savings on offer, well I still haven’t forgotten that when I started driving and acquired my first policy through a broker who got me a policy with AXA without my immediate knowledge, they charged me over IR £3,500 to drive a standard, small-engined, of-the-shelf, family car. The next year their call centre told me that they had a blanket ban on my model of car even though I was still insured with them at the time I called for new quotes. I vowed then that I would never do business with AXA again and I never have. FBD is an example of a local company – you can actually drop into one of their offices in your county and say hello to them.
The second advert that really gets me at the moment is the Hibernian TV advert. You know the one that uses the footage of Charlie Haughy telling us to tighten our belts. I guess they didn’t think of this when they used that footage and that somehow highlighting the badness of the past would make us think that here’s a company that cuts to the chase and has no time for those who hoodwink and obstruct? Well just over 5 years ago Hibernian was the first motor insurance company to turn around and tell Irish drivers that the Irish driving test was worthless. Of course they didn’t say that exactly but in a roundabout way they did; they introduced the “ignition” driving test that placed a further obstacle in the path of young drivers with full licenses towards getting cheaper insurance and that somehow a half-day course would eliminate loads of the risk that their hefty statistics claim to otherwise represent. The biggest insult of all was that it completely undermined the official, government backed, Irish driving test by refusing to accept that drivers were qualified. The other thing that relates to that footage of CJ and the motor insurer is that for the last couple of years, while we have all been tightening our belts and getting ready for recession, companies like Hibernian were enjoying record profits in the Irish motor insurance arena. In 2007 the Irish motor insurance industry enjoyed profits of over Eur 357, 000, 000 but of course we’re the ones tightening our belts just like when CJ was buying his fancy shirts – the failure to spot the obvious similarity is frankly baffling and I for one would never hire the genius who came up with that idea for an ad.
Sigh… Rant over.