So, I inadvertently left Bahrain for a couple of months and forgot to get the car inspected and insured by the end of May.
The inspection was easy as I just got a mate to take the car to traffic and it passed, no problem. Insurance, now that is a different story.
To put this in context last week I bought a car in the UK.
Once I had made an agreement with the owner I got online and transferred the payment to his bank. Then I went online, got a lot of quotes, accepted one and paid with my card. Within 30 minutes of agreeing the deal I was driving away fully insured.
And so to Bahrain. First I could not contact my insurance company.
They broadcast proudly on their website that you could contact them via Whatsapp. I sent a message. Two ticks meant it was delivered, but the ticks never went blue which means that no one in the company is paying any attention to the WhatsApp number.
I tried calling them, got put on hold for 20 minutes (from the UK, cost a lot of money) and then got dumped into a voicemail.
I tried emailing them, but no response.
Finally, I sent an email to their CEO thanking him for a subject to write about.
He responded quite quickly and because he did and was rather nice I am not naming the company here today.
However, I did call a couple of other insurance companies and so I believe that my points raised here are valid across many companies.
All I want to do is renew my insurance policy by telephone or online. No can do. Either you have to physically take the documents to the company office or in a renewal case you have to take the money.
In this day and age of online trading my insurance company cannot take a credit card payment over the phone or online.
And why do I need to take the documents in?
Lets look at these,
CPR: They already have a copy of this from the initial opening of the policy and if it has not gone past the expiry date then it is still the same. Why do you need to see it again?
Car Registration document: If the owner has not changed then this has not changed. Still the same as last year.
Last year’s insurance card: All the details from this are already on your system. Why do you need to see the card?
So here is a market opportunity for a Bahrain insurance company setup the ability to renew car insurance policies online.
It will save us having to physically come to your office and avoid the driving and trying to park that entails. You will not need so many staff to man the front desk as there will be less people coming to your office.
You will steal a huge march on all other insurance companies because a lot of people will switch to you because of the ease of doing it online.
If you need to hire a consultant to map all this out to you then email me. My rates are reasonable.