The insurance times, they are a-changing


It’s time to start swimming or you’ll sink like a stone: the van insurance market landscape is changing drastically, both in the future and today as well.

With apologies to Bob Dylan, the truth is that the van and car insurance landscape is facing the kind of upheaval usually reserved for volcanic eruptions: not only has the venerable paper tax disc become a thing of the past, but there’s a good chance so will exclusive deals between insurance companies and insurance comparison sites.

Why are car and van insurance comparison sites getting an overhaul? Well it all has to do with the Competition and Markets Authority and how it’s finally chewed through all that data it’s been looking through over the past year or so. The CMA says that having insurers and comparison sites can’t be permitted to continue striking exclusive deals with one another any more. This is supposed to level the competition landscape with comparison sites, but I’m not entirely sure what it’s going to actually do for consumers like you and me.

Meanwhile the paper tax disc is no more in the UK as of this week. Once your existing tax disc is done you’re going to not get a new one when you pay your tax next; instead the fact that you paid will be stored electronically and will be passed on to the authorities whenever your license is looked up in their computerised systems. In other words you’re going to be spied upon by these little cameras that are being fitted to police cars that will scan your license plate while you’re in a car park or perhaps even waiting at a traffic light.

That’s right, you don’t have any privacy anymore anywhere in the UK. Yes, yes I know what you’re going to say: if you’ve got nothing to hide why worry? Listen, I’m not saying I’m planning on not paying my tax and will be trying to get away with it – I just don’t like authority figures looking up my personal details all higgelty piggelty. I suppose I just like my privacy.

Do we still have a right to privacy in the UK? I don’t know – I think the Tories might have taken that away. Not that the Lib Dems stopped them. What a bloody mess.

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