Within a couple of days of posting the article below I got a phone call direct from Domestic and General from their complaints department....
The chap I spoke to to there was very friendly and happy to talk through my experiences and listen to what I had to say. Apparently all D&G new policies are now new for old, rather than sold on a depreciation basis. If we were on the newer policy we wouldn't have had to pay to get the replacement machine. At the end of the call the complains chap I spoke to promised he would ensure we didn't have to pay our contribution listed below effectively making out old depreciation policy a new for old policy instead.

Happy with that.

So D&G complaints department seem rather pro active and willing to sort out issues, if you have a problem with Domestic and General I'd suggest you try to get through to complaints as early in the process as possible.

Domestic and General insurance policy vs costs

We bought our washing machine a good few years ago, at the time of writing this (Oct 2012) I'd estimate it's 7 or 8 years old. In a departure from my stance of not buying extended warranty style insurance we ended up with a policy from Domestic and General that is supposed to repair the machine in the event of a breakdown.

Below I'll outline why my recent experience with Domestic & General insurance has reaffirmed my view that this sort of extended warranty/insurance isn't worth the paper it's printed on. After several phone calls (including chasing after they didn't return calls as promised), 2 visits from repair men and 12 days since first repair call the insurance people decide to write off the machine.

Now it gets interesting, because of the age of the machine they will only pay 55% of the value of a new equivalent model which is apparently a Hoover OPH616. They supply that model for a price of £328.99.

We were paying the insurance by direct debit over the course of the year with annual fee of £101. The policy is renewed in March so not all payments for the year have been made, they deduct the difference off the amount they will pay reducing their contributed to £134.78 naturally the policy is immediately ended regardless of fact we paid for 12 months.

So insurance will pay....
55% of 328.99 180.93 (it seems they rounded off in some odd way)
Insurance premium remaining -46.20
Total 134.78

We have to make up the difference to the full price of the machine:
Full price  328.99
Insurance contribution -134.78
Our contribution 194.21

I looked up the washing machine they are suggesting as a replacement and (on day of call with quotes) I found it on HughesDirect.co.uk (a site they recommended to look at models available) for £259.99. Which is a stonking £69 difference. Of course the insurance company will only buy from their chosen suppliers and don't price match so we end up paying them an extra £69 over what we should.

Given that website is selling to the public and not a large company buying at trade prices I think it's fair to say quoting us a price of £328.99 is a joke.

So if I reduce the actual insurance contribution according to that difference (If not for insurance I'd be buying at lower price so that seems reasonable):
£134.78 - 69 = 65.78

Now I'll take off the cost of calling their 08444 numbers
65.78 - 3.67 = 62.11

With an estimated cost of policy of: £800 the insurers come out on top to the tune of £737.89. Though to be fair we did have a repair in the interim, so we could knock off £100 for that.

Given the first call to Domestic and General warranty people to arrange a repair was on 27th of September we could have had a new machine in by now with much less messing about and for only £65 difference to what we are actually going to end up paying (not including the premiums).

We would also have a free choice of any machine on the market, not just Hoover machines.

Choosing a replacement washing machine / delivery of replacement machine

We discovered the machine we were being offered didn't have a feature we use frequently, so I call D&G to see what our options were. This time I was armed with some possible alternative models that appeared to offer all the features our old machine did. The closest Hoover model to have features we wanted was closer to the £500 mark.

At this point the lady I spoke to this time was willing to listen to suggestions for other brands, we settled on a Beko instead which was closer to the spec the old machine had (and gained in other areas). Looking on Comet website while on the phone to Domestic and General showed the machine was in stock.

That was on the afternoon of Thursday 11th October. I was told Comet would be in touch to arrange delivery.
Hadn't heard from Coment by late Friday evening, so called them. Apparently they hadn't received the order as yet and it could take 24-48hrs for the order to be processed by D&G and passed to Comet.

On Tuesday 16th October we get a call from Comet - they have none in stock and won't have for a week. They promised a delivery sometime between 7am and 7pm on Monday 22nd October. At this point I figure it'll be a waste of time going back to D&G and trying to change to a washing machine that is in stock so we get it sooner and are able to reducing the pile of clothes waiting to be washed!

So nearly a month from machine breaking to getting a replacement - assuming it turns up when promised by Comet. I wonder why if should take 2 days for an order to get from D&G to Comet, unless they are actually posting the order rather than having joined up IT systems.

Cost of calls dealing Domestic and General warranty

Phone calls (08444 numbers). These include calls to Domestic and General as well as calls to Comet:
Date Time   Number Duration Cost £
27/09/12 14:47 Talk 08444810100 00:02:36 0.265
27/09/12 14:50 Talk 08444995599 00:05:24 0.551
05/10/12 17:32 Talk 08444810177 00:08:49 0.900
05/10/12 17:41 Talk 08444995599 00:00:10 0.102
08/10/12 10:06 Talk 08444995599 00:00:44 0.102
08/10/12 10:07 Talk 08444995599 00:00:24 0.102
08/10/12 10:07 Talk 08444995599 00:16:07 1.646
11/10/12 13:33 Talk 08444810102 00:17:39 1.802
11/10/12 14:44 Talk 08444810102 00:17:07 1.748
12/10/12 12:50 Talk 08448153400 00:15:16 1.559
15/10/12 12:34 Talk 08448153400 00:05:16 0.538

Total cost in calls: £9.315