Actor and author Sheila Hancock has spoken out after her car insurance premium rose from £873 to £2,246 a year without warning, despite 63 years without making a claim on her insurance.
Hancock, 82, a member of the Institute of Advanced Motorists, told The Guardian said she had not been given a reason for the increase, but speculated her profession and age might be part of the reason.
“I thought, fair enough, I am getting older, but I’ve not got that much older in the last year,” she said.
“If you look for insurance over the age of 80 there are hardly any companies which will even touch it, and yet I would be pretty sure that if you look at the statistics there are far fewer accidents with older people than there are with butch 30-year-olds who work in the City.
“I can’t imagine how people with not much money living in isolated areas – which a lot of old people choose to do – manage, because there is no public transport anymore.
“What is going to happen with this ageing population? If I was stuck in the country and couldn’t afford my insurance – and a lot of people couldn’t – what do you do? It’s absurd.”
The insurance company, Admiral, wrote to say that while Hancock had not claimed on her insurance, she had been involved in two incidents – an accident in 2013 and a scrape on the paintwork in 2013. These were taken into account when calculating premiums even though they were not her fault and Admiral did not have to pay out any money.
“Looking at our past claims results, we have found customers involved in a non-fault incident often go on to make a fault claim ,” the letter said.
“There are many possible reasons for this, the most likely suggesting a higher than average exposure to everyday driving risks. Examples could include driving in rush hour or on typically dangerous stretches of road or parking on busy roads. The higher your exposure, the more likely you may be to claim.
“Alternatively, you may live in an area that suffers frequent bouts of vandalism, or the type of car you drive may be more prone to malicious damage or theft. Although you may not have made a fault claim, our statistics suggest the likelihood of you doing so increases. These are all non-fault incidents but will add to the risk we are undertaking in insuring your car.”
Admiral said Hancock’s age and job were “not a cause for the particular increase in her renewal premium”.
Hancock has since found car insurance for £1,073 a year from Cornmarket.