A Sheffield ‘Woman of Steel’ who helped keep Lancaster Bombers airborne during WWII is being driven from the roads – after her car insurance soared by £300.
Marjorie Neal, aged 96, today criticised her car insurance as ‘ageist’ after her premium shot up to £700. Last year, she paid £412 for insurance for 12 months but this year RIAS has asked for £700 – a 69 per cent increase.
Marjorie, of Fairbarn Road, Stannington, helped the war effort by training as an electrician and wiring up Lancaster Bombers.
She said: “I was disgusted when I got it. You expect it to go up a little bit, but not as much as that. My car has done 793 miles in a year.
“I’m 96 years old and I only use it for shopping and visiting people locally. That car is my independence.
“With how hilly Sheffield is, not driving would make me housebound. I’m sure it’s ageism. I’m positive it is. I have never made a claim. I’m 96 years old so they don’t want me on the road.”
Marjorie is well known as a regular charity helper, knitting hats for the shoebox appeal.
She added: “I am proud to be one of Sheffield’s Women of Steel, having worked for my country during the war, and I think the elderly deserve more consideration and respect than that meted out by this money-grabbing insurance company.”
A spokesman for RIAS said the firm has been forced to increase ‘unsustainable’ prices but the company is supporting older drivers on the road.
He said: “RIAS has offered competitive premiums on its motor insurance products for a number of years but it has become apparent these prices are no longer sustainable. Despite some increases that have been made over the last 12 months, we have had to make the difficult decision to move our pricing to a more viable level.
“This has resulted in some customers facing increases in their premiums in order to reflect the cost of claims, but we believe these will remain in line with other motor insurance providers.
“RIAS will continue to offer insurance cover for our customers in all age groups, and we are supporting the National Older Drivers’ Strategy which aims to help older drivers stay on the road safely for as long as they are able.
“Therefore, we are very sorry for causing any distress to the customer as we aim to provide the highest quality product and service to all our customers,” the spokesman added.