Re: AF vs others
Every insurer has a particular demographic at a particular time which they are focussed on. And equally, every insurer has demographic they're not really interested in increasing their market share in, so quote high for people within it.
As a broker, AF will have multiple insurers to try to combat that issue - but they're never going to manage to be the cheapest for every person who rings them. Your experience of them being expensive is relatively meaningless to anyone who isn't in exactly the same situation as you as regards age, driving history, car, area and god knows what else too.
My advice - give them a try every time you need to renew. If they're good, you're laughing, if they're not on that occasion, you've lost nothing.
"Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so." - Douglas Adams
"You know, sometimes the world seems like a pretty mean place."
"That's why animals are so soft and huggy."
- Calvin and Hobbes
To err is human, to moderate ursine.