THEY make it sound so easy in the adverts. Simply dial a few numbers and hey presto, you’re sorted.

But, in reality, it’s nowhere near as simple.

Shopping around for a good deal on your insurance can take hours.

All those questions – do you have triple mortice locks on your doors? And windows locks? And a burglar alarm serviced once a month by an approved dealer?

As I spluttered out the answers – “I think so; yes, some; yes, but we don’t know how to work it...” I could sense the premium rising.

I wanted to tell them we had a moat full of man-eating sharks, a 10-inch thick drawbridge and a team of expert archers placed on turrets around the property, but thought it may be difficult to prove in the event of a claim.

I got the same level of interrogation when I rang for quotes for car insurance.

Had the car been adapted? Well, my daughters have added a few cat stickers. How many miles do you travel every year? With two teenagers forever hailing my ‘taxi’ it could be 100,000 miles.

I had to use all my powers to convince a number of insurers that I’m a woman in her 50s with a clean driving licence, not a 17-year-old boy racer, and I deserve a reasonably affordable premium.

Every year I pootle along, taking great care not to hit other vehicles, or items of street furniture, but still it shoots up.

I hate the way insurance companies butter you up with great offers, reel you in, then, a year later, bump up your premiums by 50per cent because you’re no longer a new customer.

Loyalty counts for nothing. You could have been with a firm for more than a decade and had no claims, but it is the new customers that get the deals.

One firm told me that I could get round this by cancelling my policy and setting up another on the internet, as the computer would not recognise me as an existing customer. Madness!

When negotiating home insurance I found it amazing that the sums quoted varied by a massive £200 for the same level of cover.

I think one company misread my postcode for Kensington and Chelsea, asking: “Do you go out with anything worth more than £15,000?” Only my husband, I said, who is covered by a life insurance policy.

And how does every company under the sun know when my policies need renewing, and my phone number? I’ve had phone calls from dozens this month.

Renewing insurance is so stressful they should offer an associated policy against nervous breakdowns – only the premiums would be astronomical.