Whilst minding my own business the other day, I received a most indelicate letter from the More Th>n usually annoying insurance company. Indelicate because emblazoned upon the outside of this crass marketing material was the public information that I was entitled, due to my over-50 status, to receive a startlingly modest renewal quotation. This was because of my vast experience as a driver. And “we know that you’re less likely to make a claim”. So although my chances of grooming any unwary teenagers by pretending to be 13 had been summarily destroyed by this public age-outing, at least I might have the compensation of cheap car insurance. And this was no idle fantasy on my part because, I learned from their encouraging letter, most people in my almost-senile age bracket had to shell out a mere £181 for their premium.
I visited their website. I entered all my personal details. I shared the fact that I’d had a full licence for more th>n thirty years. I owned up to the one accident I’d had in the last five years, which was settled in my favour. I boasted of my more th>n five years’ no claims record. I assured them that I’d not been collecting points on my licence. I denied that I’d had any turbo-charging adaptations since Mr Citroen built my car for me. I explained in detail that my car would be nestling behind electronic gates during the night, and that it would thus be protected from all the evils and temptations of the dark hours. I mentioned that it had an immobiliser and ear-splitting alarm fitted, not by a fly-by-night Manchester wide-boy, but by the manufacturer himself. In fact, all in all, I think I had built up a pretty copper-bottomed case that I was an almost perfect example of their data-warehousing’s intended demographic. I was old, safe, honest, boring, and eager to be wooed by their “pay as little as £181” premium.
I was so perfect a fit that the website, after it had told me with disarming honesty that it would be running a credit reference check against me, apologetically informed me that so far from offering me a paltry sub-£200 quote it was unable to offer me a quote at all. I was incensed. Was I not old enough? Was my membership of the club for the boring and safe not adequate? What faint echo of a dissolute life-style had they picked up on? I was determined to find out.
So I phoned their free-phone help line. I was connected to a charming but spectacularly useless young lady who spent ten of our eventual thirty minutes together establishing my address. Once that hurdle had been safely jumped, she continued to ask me all the questions her web-based alter ego had already asked me. I refer you to my earlier replies. I thought I’d have been able to refer her to my earlier replies as well since she assured me she had my non-quotation up on her screen but no, she wanted to hear me repeat them just for her. After we had pirouetted our pas-de-deux she was at length able to reveal my special old, boring, safe person’s quote. It was £1087. I’m ashamed to admit that I told her and her employers to fuck right off. For those remotely interested, my current insurer’s renewal quote is £507. Oh yes, More Th>n is the perfectly eponymous insurance company after all.