Archive for Classic Car Insurance

UK Government Declares War On Private Motor Insurance

By A Consumer – War Correspondent  – Car Insurance War Front Line

The UK Government has declared war on the private motor insurance market.

The Government has yet to decide who the enemy actually is, although one ethnic group ‘CFA referal collectors’ have been singled out for the death camps and news coming out of Westminster today confirms this.

The call for the ‘War on Car Insurance’ from the media and consumer led groups has reached deafening proportions recently and the UK Government will tell you they have been forced to act.

The AA have stated that the ‘average’ car insurance premium has risen by 40% and on the word of the AA and probably as a deflection away from the more pressing economic issues, battle has begun.

Government Forces Attack

First into battle yesterday for the Government, was the consumer watchdog the OFT (Office of Fair Trading). They have been asked by HQ to find out if the price rises are real and whether there are any (choke) anti competitive practices occurring in the UK private motor insurance market that may be pushing up prices.

To do this they have initially asked those thought to be contributing to the high costs of car insurance and will then ask the nation to contribute in an open call to arms, to publicly air their grievances on car insurance price hikes, by filling in a form.

The OFT has asked all the suspects to contribute to the war effort or else stand accused of being part of the problem not the solution to higher car insurance premiums.

Most Wanted Suspects

1.  Price Comparison  Websites

2. Replacement Vehicle and Car Hire Companies

3. Approved Motor Vehicle Repairers.

4. Insurance Companies Products.

None of the major suspects is being pulled in for interrogation at this point in time. They have been given 5 weeks until October 12 to comply with the resolution or face shock and awe.

A spokesperson for the regime said’

“We will be engaging with participants in this market, trade bodies, the Government, regulatory agencies and consumer groups over the next five weeks by issuing information requests, arranging roundtable discussions and holding bilateral meetings.

Information requests:

We will also be inviting comments from consumers and other interested parties. The OFT is, however, unable as part of this study to address or advise consumers in this market on individual matters or complaints.

Any party that wishes to submit their written views, can e-mail by 12 October 2011 or write to:

Private Motor Insurance Call For Evidence
Fourth Floor
Office of Fair Trading
Fleetbank House
2-6 Salisbury Square
London EC4Y 8JX “.

Second Front Opens with Pincer Movement

As soon as the OFT went into battle yesterday, it was immediately announced that the Government were opening up another front with a full out attack of its heavily armed praetorian guard, the FSA, against those supplying information to the enemy in return for money.

The practice is to be banned immediately it has been confirmed today, indicating that the government will take the side of Insurers against Lawyers. Questions of the legality of the war and the interfering with free trade could be raised at the international courts at a later date.

Tensions between Solicitors and Insurance Companies have been rising steadily over the last few years with Insurers furious about having to pick up massive bills for professional negligence by solicitors involved in mortgage and building surveying disputes. In many cases Solicitors PI premiums have been raised so high that many solicitors are now finding it impossible to practice.

Coupled with the massive amounts that the insurance companies are having to pay against public liability and employers liability claims for negligence, it appears the Insurance companies have finally had enough.

The number of car accidents involving personal injury claims is 31% down on the average for ten years prior, however the cost of personal injury claims has more than doubled from £7bn to £14bn in the past ten years and motor insurance premiums have risen at least 30% this year.

Insurance companies are blaming Conditional Fee Arrangements (CFA’s) or ‘No Win No Fee’ for the rising costs of car insurance. They argue that there is no disincentive, such as having to pay if you lose, that’s stops people making a claim if you have been injured in a car insurance accident.

The Government has stopped going as far as banning CFA’s completely, which would seriously impede that right to justice for the majority of the people in this country who cannot afford solicitors bills of £180 per hour +.

Today it has announced that those referring accident injury victims to solicitors and lawyers will be banned from receiving payment!

It also seems that the special relationship that UK Insurance companies have with UK Government through the ABI etc. appears stronger than that of the Law Society and Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) who traditionally only find allies in the other place, the House of Lords.

It also appears that the Government think that the Insurance Companies, who set the car insurance prices, are not actually responsible for their own pricing!

Insurance Blog will keep you abreast of all the developments as the war on car insurance unfolds. We will also be running a series of posts that examine in detail the questions being asked of the Motor Insurance Market.

Classic Car Insurance for Newbies

A Beginners Guide to Classic Car Insurance

By Insurance blogger Dave Healey

If you’ve just bought your first classic car you will need to consider not just where, but also how you are going to insure it. If you are new to classic cars you will probably not even be aware that specialist car insurance policies for classics exist, which are peculiarly different from standard car insurance policy covers as offered by those seen on TV.

As a classic car owner it matters not if you drive a perfect condition Ford Capri 3 litre from 1970, a beat up old Morris Minor from the Sixties or a sleek E-type Jaguar in British racing green, it is essential that you find the best classic car insurance cover for your cherished motor, that covers your individual risks at prices that won’t break the bank!

If you have not owned a classic car before it is important to realise that there are basic differences between what is known as a standard car insurance policy and the cover offered under one defined as classic, from a specialist car insurer.

The first thing to establish is whether your car is eligible for cover under a classic policy. One way you could do this is ask the previous owner whether it was covered under a classic car insurance policy and with which insurance company.

Different car insurance companies have different definitions of the age and type of vehicles that can be covered under this type of cover.

What might be easily covered with one provider may be excluded by another. Fortunately most online classic car cover providers provide this information on the first page of their websites, so it is fairly easy to surf around and check your eligibility with different insurance companies.

You should check that both the eligibility of the age of the car in question and also whether there are policy restrictions for your individual driving circumstances, such as your age that would prevent you from applying for cover.

The major variation between a standard policy and those offered by the classic car specialists is in the way that you use your classic vehicle, and in particular, how much you drive it. The large mainstream insurers and price comparison sites will offer cover for older cars but will charge an additional premium because of its age. They will also load the premium if replacement parts for the vehicle type are known to be expensive.

More importantly you will only be offered the current market value replacement if the car is covered under a mainstream policy and is deemed to be a write-off when you claim.

With a standard car insurance policy on a replacement like for like basis, the value of the car is often set by the market value at the time of a claim, typically taken from one of the car price magazines such as the UK’s Glasses Guide. The amount you will be probably receive for a write-off will be at the current market value of your car which is an annual depreciating amount. Inevitably, if you own a classic car and insure it under a standard policy contract, this leads to under valuation and under insurance of the true value of the car. You will also probably not be offered the salvage and a repairable classic car may often be deemed a write-off because the cost of repair is uneconomic to the Insurer.

If you purchase a specialist classic car insurance policy you will be offered a choice of either an agreed valuation of the classic cars worth or a policy based on market value.

An agreed valuation amount is the amount that the insurance company will pay out in the event of a claim that results in a write off. This is a major benefit of insuring classics under specialist policies because it ensures that you are not just properly covered but will also receive the specialist repair services that your classic will require should you claim. It should be noted that even agreed valuation polices can change and you should ensure that the value is guaranteed for a certain period of time to avoid fluctuations in market values.

Classic Car insurance polices are therefore tailored to the needs of cars considered to be collectable and effectively the valuation is a rating factor for the condition of the car.

The other major difference between standard and classic policies is in the way that you are allowed to use your car under the terms of the agreement. Originally this type of vehicle insurance was designed for drivers who do not use their classic cars much.

All classic car policies have a limited mileage clause which only covers the vehicle for an agreed amount of miles per year. Depending upon which specialist car insurance company you use, there will be a limit to how far you can drive your classic. Some providers will only cover a couple of thousand miles per year under the policy, but many specialist providers are now offering cover up to ten thousand miles per year. These policies reflect the fact that many drivers now use modern day classic cars as their main form of transport.

As with all car insurance it is important to compare both covers and prices when shopping around. There are many specialist classic insurance providers available online today and many specialist schemes that are targeted at particular classic owners. Compare the premiums offered by these with those from the price comparison sites, but if you want to avoid disappointment if you need to make a claim, be sure to understand the difference in policy covers.

The Internet has made it very easy to Classic Car Insurance Brokers that was previously only available from specialist car insurance brokers on the high street. You can find those offering special deals and bespoke schemes for your particular classic by searching for schemes to compare for your particular model or vehicle type classic car insurance.

Cheap Classic Car Insurance Cover

Cheap Classic Car Insurance Cover
By car insurance specialist blogger and expert Dave Healey

Do you own a car over fifteen years old?
Do you own a car which could be considered a classic?
If you do you may well be entitled to cover it under what is known in the industry as a classic car insurance policy. In the past there were many more restrictions on cover under this type of policy and specialist motor insurance brokers and insurance companies were very particular about the type, age make and models of the cars they wished to cover on their books.

Times have changed and technology has led to many more cars now fitting into a bracket that was once reserved for the glamorous, collector and vintage car owners. It is now possible to obtain both cheap quotes and classic car covers online from many providers including the majority of those famous high street brands, who have realised that nearly fifty percent of the cars on the road now fall within the strict underwriting parameters for classic car policies. Consequently premiums in this market, which were always cheaper than standard cover, have become much more competitive in recent years, with the entry into the market of many of the larger insurance companies.

When searching for the right covers it is wise to get a range of classic car insurance online quotes from various different sources. Not all motor companies are the same, and neither are all classic policy conditions.

When applying for a classic quote you should be aware of the varying limits of cover and restrictions that may be put on driving the vehicle. For example many of these policies will only allow you very limited road mileage each year, sometimes as little as 3000 miles per annum. This is fine if you have an expensive collectors car that is garaged throughout the year and only taken out for the odd cruise or rally. The problems occur much more frequently when non valuable classic cars are insured under this type of policy when they should really be covered under a more embracing standard motor insurance. Unfortunately, restrictive policy conditions often only come to light after an accident and a claim is made, rejected by the insurer and leaves the policyholder feeling miss sold and abandoned.

If you have decided that a classic car policy is right for your car, then when applying for quotes online always check that the policy is right for you, the owner as well. Many policies are designed to charge by the lifestyle of the insured and as with all car insurance there is a tendency for cover to be cheaper for older persons and women drivers. Many companies will not issue classic motor insurance to persons under the age of twenty five, although this is changing as well, and there are some very good providers out there who will cover drivers as young as twenty one.

If the value of the car is not particularly high and the replacement costs of parts and repairs does not warrant a specialist policy, you may well be better advised to seek out quotes from a mainstream insurance company. They often have additional online discounts and offers which the classic policy providers are not in a position to offer.

As with all car insurance, what may initially appear cheap at policy inception could cause some unpleasant surprises when it comes to making a claim. After all you only buy car insurance to protect yourself in the event of a claim and a policy is only as good as it’s claims service!

Shop around for specialist car insurance and Compare Classic Car Insurance. Compare prices and insurance covers from both major high street brands and the smaller insurance specialists to ensure you not only get a good deal, but get the adequate levels of cover you require for your classic car, as well.

Classic Car Insurance – A 20p Tyre Check could save £££’s

20p Tyre Check could save £££’s by Kris Oldland

A recent survey by classic car specialist dealership Motorpoint has revealed that the majority of classic car owners feel that they are footing the bill for those who refuse to get insurance.
Over 80 percent of the recipients confirmed that they believe those caught without adequate specialist classic car insurance cover should have their vehicles destroyed.

This rather satisfactory solution (considering the additional cost these cheats have added to your latest premium,) could soon become a reality as Paul Clark, road safety minister, included this suggestion in proposals he outlined recently.

It comes as part of the new government plans to further enforce the compulsory insurance of all motor cars within the UK. New measures mean that any owner of a vehicle which is taken onto a public road and caught without insurance will at the very least face fines and should they persist in breaking the law their vehicle could well be impounded and destroyed.

In response to the survey results David Shelton, Managing director of Motorpoint commented: “It is clear from our poll that the vast majority of people want something to be done to stop them having to foot the bill for uninsured drivers.”

In other news Which? Car has recently recommended that taking the time to refresh your classic car safety knowledge is a vital way of staying safe, as well as avoiding avoid unnecessary insurance claims – adding that at this time of year ensuring the grip on your tires meets the necessary standards is a good starting point.

According to industry experts TyreSafe, as the weather starts to get wetter and the chances of losing traction and skidding increase, a particularly important test to ascertain the safety of your tyres is to insert a 20p piece into the main grooves of your tyres. If you are unable to see the outer band of the coin the tread is sufficient. If the outer band is visible then it is high time you replaced these often overlooked, yet crucial elements of your car.

Chairman of TyreSafe, Stuart Jackson also added : “Tyres are the only part of the vehicle in contact with the road surface so it is essential that they are in a condition that allows them to perform properly.”

Meanwhile, the IAM, (Institute of Advanced Motorists) has highlighted the importance of ensuring that head restraints are correctly fitted – particularly within a classic car. An insurance claim could be the least of a drivers concerns if they are involved in an accident during which their head restraint wasn’t fitted correctly.

Figures released by road safety company Brake earlier this year show that when fitted properly this often overlooked safety device can reduce the chance of whiplash by nearly 24 percent. Alarmingly though this same study showed that nearly three quarters of drivers surveyed had no idea how to adjust the head rests themselves.

Brake”s Fleet Safety Forum has recently launched the Move Up campaign to try and encourage more employers to ensure their workers know what they can do to avoid whiplash injuries.

One of the easiest ways to ensure you have the correct classic car insurance cover is to find a scheme suitable for your particlar model. It’s easiest to use a specialist product and price comparison website to compare classic car insurance such as that provided by Car Insurance TV

Consider Repairers When Getting a Classic Car Insurance Quote Online

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.