“ Car and Home Insurance „
It's that dreaded time of year again, My car insurance is up for renewal, *sigh* Since 2008 when I bought my first car and started poodling around town and beyond, I have joined the masses and been drawn into the murky and downright annoying world of motor insurance.
I never thought I would ever drive and therefore need a policy, but moving to rural Dorset 4 years ago put paid to that as the bus service round these parts is about as frequent and reliable as the Government.
I have only ever used one insurance company, or should that be intermediary? You see I buy my insurance through Swinton who don't offer policies themselves but find the best price for you from a large bank of insurers saving you the leg work. Similar to the likes of online comparison sites, gocompare etc.....
***Why did I use them initially?***
When I bought my car my partner helped me find insurance by speaking with his regular broker who he has used for years and trusts without question. They saved me the effort of looking myself and obtained quotes from several firms including Swinton. The quote I received from Swinton was the cheapest so naturally I went with them.
***Who are Swinton Insurance***
Swinton Insurance are a company who work with insurers to offer the best possible deal. They have been doing this for over 50 years and are able to provide cover for virtually all cars and from hundreds of insurers at discounts of up to 25%. They have over 600 offices nationwide and also operate online and via the phone.
***How to contact them***
The easiest way to contact them is via their website at www.swinton.co.uk. I personally prefer to speak to a real person so I call them to discuss my insurance and premiums. Their local offices can be contacted via phone though only during office hours, outside these times they run an 0800 number for questions and customer service in general.
***My Experience with them***
I have been very pleased with their service so far. The first two years I held insurance I was prepared to stay with them as due to my lack of driving experience premiums cost pretty much the same whoever I obtained a quote from so it didn't matter who I bought my insurance from. I chose to stick with Swinton to save any hassle and because their customer service was so good. Only an hour ago today I called them to discuss my renewal which is due next month to see what the price would be and I was pleasantly surprised.
For the past week I have searching and comparing online for quotes, both from comparison sites and from insurers directly. I found a quote from Swinton through a comparison site that was over £10 a month cheaper than my current price, spurred on by this I called them to see what they could offer.
I called their 0800 nationwide call centre number this afternoon and only had to wait about 30 seconds before being put through to a softly spoken woman. I would also say that I'm very please they employ English people at their call centres. I'm not racist in any shape or form, but I do hate companies who employ people from India etc... who struggle to understand what I'm saying and constantly ask how the weather is.
The lady I spoke to took all my details and that of my car before looking on her computer for their best price. The quote I was given was higher than that I had seen online. I told her this and after checking again she was able to beat it, ok only by a matter of pence but still a better deal. I was pleased with that so agreed to go ahead.
I was sent an email almost instantly confirming my new policy and also details of how to find my policy wording online. They also send out paper copies in the post. All I had to do was pay the deposit, equal to one months premium and also agree to send proof of my no claims discount to my local office within 7 days, no hardship there.
The lady from Swinton was pleasant without being annoying and also wished me a Merry Xmas, it made the experience of sorting my insurance out a pleasurable one, and one that only took 15 minutes from start to finish.
***Would I recommend Swinton***
Yes I would. They do the donkey work for you and are very helpful when you need to speak with them. I can't comment on how easy it is to make a claim as fortunately I haven't had to yet. I will update my review if and when that time comes.
This review is for Swinton Car insurance .
You can not move address with in your contract because they will charge you a fee of around quote
£ 50 to transfer told it is administration fee if you tell them you are canceling the insurance and would like to renew another one for your new home it is a cancel fee off £75.plus other cost to set it up which with a month left of a policy is very expensive.
When you say you will cancel and go somewhere else you will still get charge £75 we where told all insurance companies do this.
Any change of circumstance counts with the car insurance. you get charge for change of address £50 selling it etc you still get charged a cancellation fee £75 within your insurance policy contract.
You are in a no win situation.
These charges are for every individual policy you have with them which means the cost or very high. You are in a no win situation. Be warned they have lots of hidden charges that they will bully you with and blackmail you into staying with them .
After paying these charges and your policy runs out and you inform them you are not renewing the nightmare begins again.
i f you choose not to renew they send you a Credit agreement notice saying you give them notice of variation and quote "they are please to confirm that we have now accept your credit agreement".
Even though you did not telephone, verbal speak to then or write to them, only repeatably tell them you are not renewing.plus they also write they will charge you if you cancel this agreement.( which you did not make or sign an agreement for).
A complete Nightmare your hands or tied by this company there seems to be no get out clause.
I object to being blackmailed in to staying with a company who treats it customers like this It is the same
Been with Swinton Group Ltd for over 20 years.
Been Loyal customer never made a claim even put up with their consistent pestering by phone.Will never insure with them again.
Very Bad customers services.It is like banging your head against a brick wall .Also never give them your phone number or email they will consistently pester you.Daylight robbery.
I've never review before but felt I need to warn customers to make a informal choice somethings may look cheaper
but find out what the hidden cost are.
Insurances may come out cheaper on compare websites but beware of hidden cost.
bieng a young driver the renewal period is a pain in the back end, i have 3 years no clams and currntly drive a group 8 car and have no points on my licence yet my premiums are still around the £700 mark.
last year with 2 years no claims i did my usual comparethemarket.com search (other price comparison sites are available :) swinton were only the second cheapest even after i recieved my £70 cashback but it was worth it.
they have a local office near my home town, i can speak to someone in that town that knows exactly what they are talking about. theres no passing you about over the phone and you never hear "oh... thats not my department, ill just put you through..." swinton are friendly, helpful and honest people, i got the price that they promised with no rubbish on the side.
granted my premium was still over £1000 it was far cheaper than the likes of quinn direct (who also have great customer service). but the point is with swinton i have never had any problems, when i moved house my details changed and that was that, no palava. they did the job and i was off the phone in less than 3 minutes. and if you need help and dont like phoning then they have brances all over the country which is extremely helpful.
unlike the time i was insured by zenith which was a 3rd party company of prestige which was rum by allen and allen group or something crazy... and also they are by far the worst insurance broker i have delt with and i wish they had a review page to tell you how much you should avoid them.
i even set up everything online and it took no more than 15 mins. i got no phone calls trying to persuade me to take out extra policies i didnt need, they just sent me out my bumf in the post which i had to sign and sent back and that was that.
ease of use web/phone etc = 10/10
Customer service = 9/10
premiums = variable depending on age/experience/points etc
overall = 9/10
*Why choose Swinton Insurance!
It was the dreaded time for me to look for car insurance again as per usual I check all the price comparison websites. Swinton came up the cheapest on two of them, so I decided to go direct to their own website to see what price was available and read a bit more about them.
The main reasons I decided to go with Swinton was:
*Competitive price - Some £38 cheaper than the next best price and over £50 cheaper than my renewal price.
*Local Shops - I am one of these people who try to keep local companies open, well Swinton has office up and down the country so rather than call the dreaded call centre you can call the local shop.
*Cash back - As usual I always check the cash back sites, and to my delight Swinton was on Quidco. So when I taken the policy out online I got any additional £50 cash back.
*Finally looking online, Swinton sounded very positive and from what I could read many customers were happy with the service they provided.
*Applying for the car insurance!
Just like many companies there are many ways for you to obtain quotes and subsequently take up the policy.
Swinton appear on all the comparison websites such as Confused, Money supermarket, Tesco etc. I would always recommend going through all these sites and then do a full quotation with the top company on their own website as often that can be cheaper.
Swintons website is very easy to follow and within 3 minutes you can have a price which will be guaranteed for 30 days. It's always worth while checking what offers Swinton have on, just now they offer £40 cash back per motor insurance policy.
You can call Swinton on free phone number 0800 138 2412 to obtain a free no obligation quotation.
The best thing is that you can walk in to any Swinton branch and get a free quotation; in addition to this if you buy the policy you will get all the documents straight away.
*Paying for your policy
*In Full: It taken out online, over the phone or in person at one of the branches. You can pay in full with a debit or credit card. In person in the branch they will also accept cash as payment.
*Monthly: You can pay monthly by direct debit, pay the initial 10% deposit on a debit or credit card online or over the phone and the remainder will be spread out over 10 monthly payments via direct debit. As this is seen as credit they do charge for that and you can expect to pay 32.1% per annum. Swinton also sign up to the direct debit guarantee and you can choose what date you wish the direct debit to come out of your account.
*Cheque- Swinton do still accept cheques, if this is the preferred method ask the advisor when you call what address to send the cheque too.
*What options do I have available?
As you would expect Swinton offer a huge variety of products, But as this review is about insurance I will cover that. I am in particularly referring to car insurance, however they do offer other insurance too.
Three options available for any customer to choose:
Third Party Fire and Theft - Covers you for the basis road traffic act as well as Fire and theft of your vehicle.
Third Party Only - This is the minimum requirement for any car to be on a public road.
I have a fully comprehensive policy with legal cover with Swinton but the actual policy is underwritten by Provident insurance. Some benefits are provided by Swinton and some are provided by the insurer direct.
Fully comprehensive covers you for many incidents including: Total loss of your car as a result of theft, fire, or accident. You will receive a courtesy car in the event of your car be unroad worthy after an accident.
You have peace of mind knowing that you have total glass cover, for a high excess of £100 you can have your windows replaced if smashed. This excess is not that competitive in comparison to other companies.
Driving Other Cars- This is provided free too many policies, but you need to check if your policy allows you to drive other cars on a third party only basis. Things to remember is that this cover only cover damage to the other vehicle or property, and the vehicle you're driving must have a valid MOT, Tax disc and be insured by someone else. I would only recommend using this benefit in an emergency and not a regular thing.
Foreign Travel- Depending what insurance company you have been placed with you will have the great benefit of this.
Guaranteed courtesy car in the event of any accident.
Like all policies sold by Swinton you also have 24hr access to their own claim lines, this is manned by staff in the UK. It's a free phone number so it will not cost a penny from a landline.
If you're like me then you have to be the unluckiest person alive, I was involved in a non fault accident when some idiot reversed in to me. I called the dedicated free phone number and gave them all the details about the accident. During that same call I was passed to Drive assist who work alongside Swinton. They asked some more questions and advised me what will happen. The first thing the lady told me is that my hired car would be with me at 2pm which was less that 2hrs after the accident happened. I was a little taken a back when she said that but I was like yeah that's great.
I went off the phone and true to their word a hired car was delivered, my old clapped out fiat had been replaced with a brand new top of the range 207. My car was not road worthy as the registration plate had been damaged.
Two days later I got a call from my insurance company called me to say my car would be written off so I would have to hand the hired car back and they would provide me with a courtesy car. I was a little lost but hey I could not complain at all. They arranged for my hired car and courtesy car to be swapped over on the same day.
Then 6 days later I received a call from Provident to say that my car had been written off and I was to send them documentation. I sent that to them and within another 2 days they called to advise me what they would offer me for my car and explained I could keep the car as it was a Cat C write off. I received the cheque a few days later. The cheque taken 5 days to clear and I had the courtesy car for an additional seven days after that.
I have to say that I am delighted with what Swinton/Provident have done so far, from the time I reported the accident to recovering the cheque was less that 19 days. It really was hassle free and they kept me on the road. The only thing I have to say which annoyed me was the fact I had to change cars. I can't see why I never got to keep the same car.
Swinton appear on all the comparison websites, However I have noticed that it is cheaper maybe by a pound or two if you go direct. I am sure Swinton are attempting to hit the market as there prices are very generous compared to others.
You can contact them by phone, in person, by email
I received my documents within 2 days of taking the policy out and all I had to send back was proof of my NCD, This is what I would expect to sent back anyway.
*What are their contact centres like?
Now this is the part I have been looking forward to writing, as I have said many times Swinton has many offices in your local area. So when you need to call them, your usually calling a local number i.e. often just to the town you live in. So it means you're talking to people who will understand you and no big ques to be held in either.
Down fall is they work office hours and if you need help out with that time, you're going through to the dreaded call centre, Now that I have had a bad experience I just dislike call centres. All the staff I have dealt with in the local office, claims line and on the out of hours lines has been very pleasant and helpful.
Like most insurance companies they attempt to auto renew your policy which means they sent you the renewal letter 6wks before and you forget to cancel and they simply renew it for you. I always check the price against a few others and so far I have been happy. When you renew you get your documents at the time of your renewal letter so make sure you keep hold of that.
*Making changes and contact details
A simple phone call and you can have your details changed; remember insurance premium will change if the risk insured changes.
Queries regarding a Car Insurance Quote - call 0800 138 2412
Car Insurance Claims - 0800 040 7019
Breakdown assistance - 0800 015 5083
What to remember, When you take out a policy online with Swinton your details will be transferred to your local branch and they will deal with your policy from then onwards.
I have been with Swinton for a short period of time, but I have nothing but praise for the company. I have always been dealt with in a professional manner and the staffs make you feel valued as a customer. There price was very competitive when I joined them.
Would I recommend? Most certainly
Thanks for reading - Marcellep
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