The number of insurance companies and their solicitors introducing premium rate telephone numbers for their claims departments continues to rise. Common premium rate numbers are 0870, 0871 and 0844.
Richard Lowes, a partner at BLB Solicitors says “premium rate numbers for claims departments now seem to be the norm. We all have the experience of being kept on hold by insurance companies, but now we have the added frustration of knowing that the insurance company or their solicitor is making a handsome profit by keeping you waiting.
“I was recently kept holding for over 40 minutes by one insurer. With some of these numbers charging 10p per minute, by the time I had spoken to somebody, the cost of the call may have been over £5.
“However, as the insurer does not usually publish the call rate, I simply won’t know the cost of the call until the bill arrives.”
It’s a different story if the insurance company are after your business. New business lines still generally have a Freephone telephone number.
Richard Lowes says “not only are new business lines generally free, but you get straight through to somebody. It’s nice to know where an insurance company’s priorities lie!”
He recommends the website www.saynoto0870.com. This free to use site provides standard geographical numbers for many companies (not just insurers) using premium rate numbers. You may search against the premium rate number or the company name.