FINANCIAL institutions love me.

Every day they write to me, asking me to get in touch to see what amazing deals they have waiting for me.

Some promise vouchers for high street stores, others say they will give me free money, and one has even gone so far as to offer to pay for my weekly groceries.

I am in demand because this month all my insurances need to be renewed and the world and his wife want my business.

Buildings insurance, contents insurance, car insurance - I don’t know how I came to be paying them all in the month when I have least money, but that’s how it’s been for decades.

Every year I shop around, spending hours on the phone relaying intimate details about my home and possessions. Yes, we do have window locks, yes we have smoke alarms, no we don’t leave our home unattended for more than 60 days a year, no we don’t have any items worth more than £20,000 in a specially-made security vault.

And my car - how do I know how much it’s worth. “Is that on-the-road or scrap?” I ask, wondering if anyone other than ‘We Buy Any Car’ would take on a vehicle with so many defects.

Each grilling lasts so long that by the time the conversation ends you are so mentally drained that you’ll agree to anything so you don’t have to go through it again.

I once tried to buy online but it was just as time-consuming and frustrating as you can’t ask pertinent questions along the way.

And if you do have to claim - beware. In 30 years I had not claimed on my home insurance, but two recent incidents involving my daughters, a stolen mobile phone and a broken laptop led to two small claims in a year. I was then disgusted to be told by Co-Op Insurance that I would in future be blacklisted for personal possessions cover.

The things that annoys me most is that there is no reward for customer loyalty. Companies dangle carrots in all shapes and sizes to new customers but the longer you remain with the same one the more your premiums shoot up.

There is nothing straightforward about insurance. It makes sense that people living in places with more car crime or who have more expensive cars pay more but why should a chef’s premium be more than a ‘kitchen worker’?

If you describe yourself as a ‘chef’ when filling in your car insurance application your average quote is £98 higher than if you write ‘kitchen staff’, comparison site found - and it’s not just cooks that have this problem. A ‘music teacher’ will pay £86 more than a ‘teacher’, office managers have to fork out more than office administrators, and construction workers pay more than builders, who in turn pay more than bricklayers.

Insurers have gone so far as to work out that surgeons normally have more accidents where they were to blame than any other profession, and building society clerks the fewest. They know Virgos were worst for accidents last year, but Pisceans had more convictions.

Unfortunately for me Journalists don’t fare well as many insurers assume that you will cover a high mileage in your vehicle, work long hours away and travel and leave your home empty for long periods of time.

But this year, after shopping around early - searching around and switching three weeks before your renewal date, rather than on the day, saves you an average of £280, comparison site Comparethemarket found - I have found a fantastic deal, with a £50 grocery voucher thrown in.

Shame I can’t say the same about my home insurance.