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Marrs Insurance Brokers is a trading name of The Not Too Boring Company Ltd. Registered in England & Wales, Registered No. 09026225.

Marrs Insurance Brokers is an appointed representative of TEn Insurance Services Ltd which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

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Recent Coffer’s Corners…

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SPRING/SUMMER 2018 - Springer 2018


I wrote a Springer Coffer’s Corner back in 2016 and thought I wouldn’t have to do that again but here I am, penning my thoughts rants and opinions for anyone to take potshots at on a cool and rather damp day in Hertfordshire, in that tormented world that lies between wrapping up against the elements and getting your legs out.  As soon as we are threatened with 3 days of hot weather, people go crazy in this country – jamming the M25 with traffic – spending endless hours curled up at Heathrow or Stansted, waiting for news of the flight that is nowhere to be found, similar to the airline rep and a decent sandwich for that matter.


Why do we do this?  Good weather in Britain is rare I agree but when the sun shines, it’s hard to beat staying at home, or at least, within the UK. We Coffers spent 11 hours getting to Inverness last Christmas made even more excruciating by the seemingly endless wait for news of anything resembling an aircraft flying in to that City for what turned out to be hours. When we did finally get to our Highland destination it was marvellous but I think had we pointed the car North and just kept going we would have got there a good deal quicker.


We had a choice of checking out and finding something to do in Luton overnight but bearing in mind its both regular and high ratings in the worthy published works of Sam Jordison and Dan Kieran’s Crap Towns: The 50 Worst Places to Live in the UK, we elected to remain perched on our small bit of airport “lounge” trying to maintain morale whilst the kids descended from excited to whingy through hungry to moany and finally, sleep.

At no time did any member of the airline staff tell us what was happening. Our information, scant and spasmodic as it was, came via fellow travellers, equally frustrated hungry and annoyed.


Many times we were called to form an orderly queue to depart, many times we were asked to return to our seats, bits of floor, others’ laps etc. whilst they tried to find an aeroplane, then a crew (yes, the standby crew had been on call for their allotted time so went home).  

I think this and the hugely insulting £3 voucher we were given by way of compensation (which by the way purchased 70%, but not all of, a sandwich and drink) is what typifies the issues I have with big business nowadays, which is that Customer Service is merely something they feel they have to say they offer, but in reality it is insulting to anyone’s intelligence that they actually give a dingo’s kidney about their clientele.


Esteban Kolsky of ThinkJar quoted in 2016 that by 2025 there won’t be any customer service at all as Companies won’t want to go to the expense of paying people to sort out complaints.

Well guess what Esteban? You don’t have to wait another 7 years – we’re already there!


We on Planet Marrs have dealt with many of our clients for over 30 years. Why? we are never going to offer the cheapest policy every time, Insurance is like the fastest gun in the West, there’s always someone out there offering cheaper. Yet devotees of the meerkat and his opera singing rival have no allegiance to the insurer they use and if offered something seemingly better they’ll jump ship faster than you can say Cap’n Pugwash.


I believe insurance buying falls into 2 distinct camps:  The buyer who buys it because he feels he must (This often includes buyers of motor insurance who by law must have minimum Third Party cover) but has no qualms about taking a better offer (for ‘better’ read ‘cheaper’) - and the buyer who buys cover having either researched it or had someone do that job for them, and made an informed choice based upon various factors like cost, breadth of cover, a known brand, a good claims service etc.


Our job, as I have emphasised to our clients for many many years is to get them paid if and when things go wrong. I cannot recall a single instance of where one of our clients has not been paid for a claim when they’ve provided us with the correct information enabling us to arrange cover on the right basis. Yes, we’ve had the odd call about flat roofs leaking and some we’ve persuaded to withdraw a claim as it was going to cost more in terms of increased premium next year so not worth it but this is something we discuss as soon as a claim is reported and so expectations are clear.


Motor and Home insurance for most insurance markets selling online is a numbers game. They have to continue pouring new business into the top of the funnel to replace the business haemorrhaging out of the bottom at subsequent renewal.


We don’t think like that. We are into longstanding relationships where we can advise on insurance for businesses, properties, cars, and get to know the people who trust us that if the worst happens, what we’ve arranged for them and what they’ve paid for comes through. You can never wave a magic wand after a fire or flood, theft or accident, but the last thing you need on top of all the heartache is for someone to tell you that you were wearing green socks on a Friday so there’s no cover.


In the UK we’ve just had yet another unrated insurer – Alpha of Denmark, go bust. Why Brokers put anyone with these unrated entities is absolutely beyond me. Taxi and Minicab drivers in their thousands found themselves advised by text that they were no longer insured. Finding out you are driving illegally with 4 passengers in the back is bound to put a crimp in one’s day. Huge panic ensued, protestors marched up and down outside their (uninsured) cab ranks and there followed an exhortation for the Government to help or the FCA at least. Me? I would sue the Broker who recommended them in the first place.


You may ask don’t they read their policy? Of course not. They’ve been told they have suitable cover with an approved insurer. The fact is Alpha may have been legal but they had no rating in the UK and as such would be an automatic decline in our book. Now I read today that the cabbies looking for an alternative policy are being replaced with yet another unrated insurer – Gefion – a Director of which was on the Alpha board up to a few years ago. All because the premiums are cheap. Well, there you are – next time you hail a taxi or minicab  - you may like to find out who they’re insured with before you climb in, if they even know!