A few years ago, I was comparing quotes for house and contents insurance. One company called RIAS seemed to be a good deal – it specialised in insurance for the over 50s – but fell at the last fence as it couldn’t provide the minimum level of financial cover I required for one area.
They rang the year after to try and get my business but I had already renewed the policy with another company. The same thing happened last year. RIAS rang again yesterday. This time I thought I would see if they could give me the cover I wanted. They could – and everything went swimmingly over the course of an exhaustive 45 minute conversation until I was asked my profession.
‘Writer’, I said. What sort of writer? ‘Well,’ I said, ‘books, articles about music, other things.’ Do you work for a local newspaper? ‘Certainly not, ‘I responded, beginning to get ratty. ‘I write for international and national publications.’ It’s just that I can’t find a category to put you under, said the RIAS girl. ‘Put down journalism. Music journalism. Or entertainment.’
Could you hold, please, while I have a word with the underwriter? ‘What’s the problem?’ Well journalism is classed as a risky profession and we may not be able to cover you? ‘Risky? Sitting at home writing at a desk? What is risky about that?’
Anyway, the long and the short of it was that, after 45 minutes of interrogation, she phoned me back to say that sorry RIAS was unable to cover me.
Not to worry. The RIAS quote was only £7 cheaper than POLICY EXPERT, the excellent company that will continue to insure my house and contents. Apparently I don’t present the same risk as the RIAS underwriters consider me to be.
Lesson: Don’t take cold calls. Don’t bother with RIAS – unless you want to waste an hour or so.