Dave Healey of our resident classic car insurance specialists panel has warned of the dangers of getting a classic car insurance quote online without taking into account who might be repairing your classic car if you have an accident or claim. Dave points out that not all car insurance companies are the same and you pay for what you get!
Does Your Car Require Specialist Car Insurance and Repair Services?
By Classic Car Insurance specialist Dave Healey
When choosing a car insurance policy it is wise to consider what is offered in the event of a claim. After all, you are only insuring the car to have the potential to make a claim and the cover is only as good as the insuring company’s claims department.
Although price is most peoples consideration when purchasing car insurance, one of things you should not overlook is who is going to repair your car if it is damaged? Do you own a non-standard car? Surprisingly a large number of vehicles fall into categories that the majority of mainstream insurance companies do not want to cover!
Such examples that may struggle to obtain motor insurance at reasonable rates are owners of performance,prestige, expensive, luxury, foreign, sports, convertibles, modified, veteran, collectors and classic cars. More importantly if you are the owner, if something happens and you need to make a claim on your policy, it is important that your car gets fixed by specialist professionals, using the correct parts. More often than not these type of car repairs require unique tools that are only available through specialist engineers and motor repair shops.
So it is most important when comparing car insurance to also compare the services that a car insurer offers in the event of a claim, especially those regarding choice of repairer.
All specialist car insurers and many insurance companies will offer a choice of repairer – many others will not as they have existing arrangements with so called approved repairers.
Trouble arises when an insurance company insists on employing a particular firm to fix the car against the policyholder’s wishes, and it is not uncommon for major disputes to arise at this point.
For example, the insured may have an expensive Italian sports car bought from an exclusive importer and specialist firm of dealers who added a number of accessories and or modifications to the car at the insured’s request at the time of sale; the same firm may have performed all the routine servicing since the sale and the insured may genuinely feel that they ‘know’ his car better than anyone else could, and that only they, in consequence, should be entrusted to carry out the repairs.
If the repair work quoted in an estimate by the specialist firm is substantially higher than that expected from the approved repairer and the car insurance claims department consider that the approved repairers are capable of carrying out the work to the same standard as the specialists , then the only way out of this impasse is usually for the insurance company to suggest that the insured pays the difference!
Clearly then it is very important to understand what you are buying with your policy when it comes to claims and repairs. Specialist car insurance policies always offer unique claims repair services and if you own an unusual, expensive, classic car or performance motor, then it would be sensible to opt for a policy that includes these repair services to avoid the above situations. What might look like a cheap policy might turn into fools gold in the event of a claim!
Dave Healey is a specialist car insurance expert and UK classic car insurance journalist who writes regularly at the Car Insurance Blog and here at Insurance Blog.