From: Mark Barlow, Managing Director, IFM Insurance, Sheffield
In response to Neil McNicholas’ article (The Yorkshire Post, August 30), I would like to respond with a perspective from the insurance sector.
The writer is correct, insurers do employ a dual pricing policy and the new customer benefits at the expense of the existing customer. In principle this can’t be right, and I don’t agree with it either, however this is not a unique situation and is employed across all industries.
If it is not, other than price, how can new business be won by those fighting for greater market share? I am not defending this situation, as insurance brokers we suffer from the same treatment by underwriters as customers do when dealing direct with the insurance companies – pricing differential.
However, as brokers we do tend to recommend loyalty to insurers to our clients where appropriate, and it is also important to understand that quality of cover and good advice does come at a price.
Loyalty does have some merits too, as invariably in the event of a claim where there is some ambiguity over cover, it works in the clients’ favour.
The writer, perhaps through a lack of available information, and indeed transparency from the insurance sector fails to realise that the times of ‘‘back in the day’’ have gone forever, driven by behaviour in society and a claims culture.
Insurers are faced with increasing claims costs. A crashed car used to simply be the cost of repair, now it involves not only the repair costs, but potentially third party injury compensation, solicitors’ costs, hire car costs, accident management company costs, not to mention emergency services costs and even, on occasion, NHS costs. These are all hidden from the consumer who only sees the bottom line price.
The key to remedying this is for the insurers to somehow get their claims costs under control, but this will involve further legislation and I doubt there is appetite for this.
In the meantime, insurers will continue to chase new business in their desire to grow, which drives the dual pricing merry-go-round.
Key issue of the elderly
From: DS Boyes, Upper Rodley Lane, Leeds.
I believe that the crisis in housing provision for our increasing elderly population will be a major issue at the next General Election – in England anyway, as care is free in Scotland, etc. Like everything else, only England pays. Sixty years ago, Leeds City Council was building care homes. Today, they are all closed, some in other uses, others demolished for new housing.
This serious and growing problem has been swept under the carpet by both Labour and the Conservatives. Labour cares only about immigrations, the Tories only about foreign aid or HS2, neither of which benefit us.
The ‘‘dementia tax’’ cost Theresa May her majority and she needed a £1bn bribe to the DUP to keep her job. Unless something positive is done to stop the seizure of personal assets, the Conservatives will be in opposition for a generation again. Don’t say they weren’t warned!
Let’s choose our holidays
From: Coun Tim Mickleburgh (Lab), Boulevard Avenue, Grimsby.
Why can’t they do away with Bank Holidays and give workers extra days off at their own choosing? After all, many still have to work at such times, including carers, nurses and bus drivers to name just three.
Time to ban the parasites
Buildings are worth saving
From: Shaun Kavanagh, Leeds.
Reading the report (The Yorkshire Post, August 24) relating to the potential creation of hotels, offices and leisure complex in Great George Street on the site of the Leonardo and Thoresby buildings, many will ask why demolish such long-established, beautiful buildings?
To destroy such facades is criminal. All too often we see such architecture destroyed nationally. Why not clean such facades and incorporate the new internal requirements to achieve the best of both worlds?
Changing the historical appearance/features of towns and cities is sacrilegious.
Would Leeds City Council replace the Town and Civic Halls with modern monstrosities? Many will say ‘no’ so why buildings of lesser importance?
Victims we cannot help
From: PL Taylor, Lockwood, Huddersfield.
The inflation rate in Venezuela is an incredibly one million per cent. The people’s hard-earned savings have been totally annihilated. What can the democratic nations of the world do about the situation? Alas, probably nothing.