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Chris Knott - 1 year review

audigex Mar 3, 2015

  1. audigex

    audigex Registered User

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    So 12 months ago I took out a policy with Chris Knott, from a discussion on this forum, and I'm about to renew with them. Here are my thoughts

    1) Customer service is excellent. They can occasionally be a little slow to answer the phones, though, and more than once I've had to call back after it rang out. This seems to have improved over the last few months, but is still noticeable at lunchtimes

    2) Their prices, if you go direct, aren't necessarily great. I suspect because I'm still relatively young (25), but they don't really match up to their claim of "finding" the best price. As far as I can tell, they tend to just use one or two insurers (Highway by Liverpool Victoria being the only one I've heard mentioned).

    3) They price match. Or try to. This is why they have my custom: price matching the likes of Elephant/Admiral/Premium Choice etc, while providing better service (as far as I can tell), means I get the same cover but cheaper.

    4) However, it feels like they only go as low as they have to, to beat the competition. If you can price match someone else, why can't you offer me that price in the first place? And why can you only match it, not beat it? I get it, it's business, but it just feels a bit like you could offer me a better price.

    5) Their renewal quotes suck. My renewal offered (£650) was £50 less than my previous year. The final price I got from them was £200 less than the previous year at (£500). That's a hell of a jump.... and the worst part was that both prices were under-written by Highway (Liverpool Victoria). Again, as per point 4, but this time it feels a little cynical.

    Note that this isn't me calling their staff cynical, just that their policy seems to be "offer a high price, then match a lower one if someone is going to beat us" - why are you willing to insure me for £500 (which must still fit within your risk profile) if you were originally going to charge me £650? Was that just £150 pure profit?

    As you can see, though, I've renewed... the service is worth it, the policy is good (unlimited mileage, or at least it was last year, I need to double check this year), they're used to dealing with car club types, and you get a far more personal service. I just wish they offered their best price: it would make me feel like an actual valued customer, even if someone else beat you slightly.

    My recommendation: definitely use them, but get prices elsewhere first and ask them to try to match it.
     
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  3. ChrisKnottIns

    ChrisKnottIns Site Sponsor Site Sponsor

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    Thanks audigex for your comments. Let me respond to some of them as it will also help other members understand how the special car club scheme operates...

    Thanks for praising our customer service. It's an important area for us. We're looking for long term relationships with clients rather than quick wins with customers. We are a medium-sized broker staffed with insurance experts, not a call-centre, so lunchtimes are inevitably an issue. We stagger them and reduce the lunchtime to half an hour to minimise impact on the phones but some days are worse than others in terms of call volumes (Mondays and Fridays particularly). Call centres can divert staff from other areas because there's little expertise required and the quotes are computer generated.

    Not sure what you mean by direct. We have access to a number of the UK's leading insurers and Lloyds Syndicates via our screens and sometimes they are the best option but most of the time we use a couple or three insurers who have given us the ability to use flexible pricing to win your business. Car club members are sought after by these insurers and we have built up a specialism in this area. This relies on our skills and expertise in knowing which cases they will respond best to and by how much. We're trying to be your best option but we also have to keep an eye on the whole account's claims ratio or we lose the special scheme for everyone.

    At inception we try to BEAT your rate by as much as we can. If you provide the evidence of an alternative quote we'll assess whether we can get you onto the club scheme and at what saving. At renewal, the rate is invited by the insurer and should be there or thereabouts as we've originally signed you up with the lowest rate out there. Sometimes prices have changed during the year and it turns out there is now a cheaper rate out there in the market. If you find one with a company we don't have access to (such as those you've mentioned) we can still use their rate to try and keep you. Armed with that evidence we can encourage your insurer to respond.

    Because we don't have access to every single company out there in the market (not everyone deals with brokers nor offers the sames rates to all brokers), we don't know what your alternative is until you tell us. At renewal an insurer is probably only going to price match an alternative as they already hold your business.

    In your case we saved you £50 at renewal initially but negotiated this up to a £200 saving with your help? You win, we win.

    See comments under 3 above - we're working to get you the best deal but sometimes (OK, often) we're using any legwork you've done to get an even better rate for you. The insurer wants us to get their invited rate but will capitulate if we can prove they need to re-think.

    Thanks for renewing audigex and for giving us the opportunity to unpack some of the nuances the scheme. As you've discovered, this method does work to get you the best deal and we hope more of this forum's members will be inspired to give us a try. 45% of the new quotes offered by us under the scheme last year were winning quotes and around 80% of clients renew with us each year. That's a good performance record.
     
  4. T-800

    T-800 Guest

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    After what i can only describe as 2 very good experiences with the RS 3 & TT, today i called Chris Knott insurance to get a Quote for our Renault Van........

    To be honest it was like i had rang a different company by mistake, the lady i spoke to didn't sound interested in the slightest (not like the previous 2 people i had spoken to on the RS3 & TT who really engaged with me)

    She went away for 5 mins came back and said "sorry nothing we can do to beat your renewal" and that was that !!!

    I'll be honest, it seemed like they didn't want to be bothered with the van insurance.........

    Such a shame as i gave them a glowing recommendation on here.........
     
  5. ChrisKnottIns

    ChrisKnottIns Site Sponsor Site Sponsor

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    I'm sorry about your experience Veneeringman. It's true that we're car insurance specialists rather than van specialists but you shouldn't have had a second class service. Please accept my apologies. Can you PM me and remind me of your real name so I can see who did your quote? Thanks.
     
  6. T-800

    T-800 Guest

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    DM sent.
     
  7. audigex

    audigex Registered User

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    Hi whoever it was who replied to me from CK

    I see your point, and I understand that you're the broker not the insurer, so it's not entirely in your control: I just think that if you could "only" get a £50 discount when the insurer was willing to discount it £200 in the end (and presumably still make a profit at that point), either you or they could do more.

    As mentioned, you matched it and I renewed, but it lost that "valued customer" sheen in the process. I think something that insurers seem to miss is that if the renewal from the current insurer isn't even ballpark with other quotes at the same time, it makes us feel like "milch cows" - as if we're being taken for a ride with renewal quotes. With all the analysis and statistics the insurers do, they must still see me as profitable at that £200 discount, but they lose much of the goodwill which could have been gained.

    I feel like the underwriters have done what's necessary to keep my custom, not the best they could. Rightly or wrongly, that also reflects back onto you guys. Whether that's something you can work on within your relationship with them, I don't know, and certainly it appears that doing "just enough" does keep our custom.

    I guess I see it as a missed opportunity to make people feel like valued customers, not just wallets who happen to own a car.

    The daft part is that if you'd offered me a £150 discount on the renewal in the first place, I probably would have stuck with you anyway for the service, despite being beaten slightly on price, but being nowhere near puts me in a "match it or I leave" position and actually ends up with a lower price. I'm hardly going to complain at that, but as I said, I don't feel valued, just price matched - and if I have to ask you to match the price, then only matching it or beating it would ever do, so you lose the custom if you can only "get close" despite the fact you would have retained my custom at that level if I hadn't had to ask. Fickle, I know, but I act on principle as well as price

    Note that this is all purely regarding the renewal price, in general it does feel like Chris Knott cares more than most other insurers.
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2015
  8. ChrisKnottIns

    ChrisKnottIns Site Sponsor Site Sponsor

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    I take your point. Insurers can be funny animals and we have to do all we can to maximise the customer benefit within the parameters they allow. Sometimes that means playing the bargaining game (which is where we should come into our own for you).

    best,
    Nick
     

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