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Mathrin

I Work In Motor Insurance, Ask Me (Almost) Anything

51 posts in this topic

If my insurer wants to void my policy over undeclared factory extras, then I will see them in court.

Policies are sold on the basis of disclosure. If you've not disclosed to your insurer any modifications you have made, you are committing fraud and deception. Insurers reserve the right to decline to deal with any and all claims in the even of non-disclosure.

In your case, you say they did not ask you outright, if the car was modified? There, you may have some ground, however insurers and brokers should have that as a standard question - as its a very very common problem.

If you've answered no to a modified car, and confirmed on the statement of truth, the insurer has every right to void from inception. It takes a lot though.

As for us checking against manufacturer standards... That's what already happens. you put the year, the model and the make, then you put any modifications you have added. Thus, you get your correct premium.

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But you also put the registration number and, as said above, that should be enough to find any factory fitted options surely? Like for example if you choose the 1.6 engine over the 1.4 in the titanium, that will be known to insurers and doesn't have to be declared as a factory option.

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Non-Ford related here; my dad had someone cut across the front of his car scraping the bumper, so my dad pulled him over to ask his details of which he refused and as my dad took the registration, he set off and ran my dad down, injuring his foot and pushing him into the motorway. He claimed he didn't see my dad due to the rain (likely story) but accepted liability as he'd clearly done it; nearly 2 years on (maybe a week off 2 years) and still the case hasn't been resolved. Anything that can be done here really? We want to avoid going to a 'no win, no fee' thing, as some physiotherapy (very little) has been provided and there have been trips to private doctors over the injury, and we don't want to end up paying out for that but it's getting beyond a joke now.

Thanks.

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There's an awful lot of moaning about insurance prices. I've said it before - while insurance is a legal requirement for drivers, it's not provided by charities, or the government or some bottomless pit of money that's quite happy to just give it away.

Insurance companies are businesses, and are run as such. They are insuring high value items - take a car at £15K brand new replacement value. It's not exactly a premium car, but it's a fact that on many policies if it's written off in year 1 then the insurance company will pay out £15K and only received a fraction of that as the premium.

Insurance is a risk-based business, and they are entitled to make money on the back of their risk.

And no, having no previous claims doesn't automatically make you a better driver, but it does make you less of a risk. Adding mods to your car firstly increases the cost of repairs etc as has already been said but it also immediately places you in a category of driver who statistically are more likely to have accidents than Miss Daisy who drives her Nissan Micra once every 6 months - so the cost does and should go up.

It's simple - if you aren't willing to pay the premium, get a different car or don't mod it. Mozes-cuz - the fact that you asked your insurance company about mods, then didn't declare them but still had them fitted it just asking for trouble. If you wrote your car off, your assessor will probably have that information and will check the car to see if they've been installed. Bingo - no insurance.

Lots of insurance companies are good samaritans in that instance and will at least pay the third party part of your claim - but they don't have to be, which means that Jo Bloggs who was also involved in the accident then has to claim on their own insurance even if it was your fault, pushing up their own prices for no reason at all.

More generally - I don't see why so may young drivers think they are entitled to drive smart, often modified cars and yet not get stung on the insurance front - it really is simple statistics and economics to me.

I'm 30, no fault claims, I drive a reasonably powerful car, am insured for business use at 22,000 miles a year and live in a less-than-ideal urban postcode. I pay £800 a year.

I understand that this means I am going to pay more than my 65 year old father who drives almost the same type of car but does 5,000 miles a year and lives in an affluent rural postcode. He pays £280 or thereabouts.

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Lots of insurance companies are good samaritans in that instance and will at least pay the third party part of your claim - but they don't have to be, which means that Jo Bloggs who was also involved in the accident then has to claim on their own insurance even if it was your fault, pushing up their own prices for no reason at all.

Correct, There are 4 levels of insurer cover.

No Cover - We're not involved

Article 75 - We would only pay uninsured losses

RTA - We pay both repairs, up to a maximum of £1,000,000

Under Contract - Full Indemnity to both parties (Policy allowing)

If we voided a policy due to non disclosure (AKA Lying about mods, previous conviction history or previous accidents) We would be article 75, you would not be invited back to renew your premium, and you would have a wrecked car that you would have to repair yourself.

Seems barely anyone understands what insurance is actually there for, and why it costs so much these days though. (Hint : it's not cause we like making money out of you, many insurers post minimal profits per year) - I mean this in a VERY broad sense - not alluding to people here. You would not believe the amount of times I hear "well what do I pay insurance for?!" in a conversation when I tell people that they cannot have their car repaired yesterday.

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Non-Ford related here; my dad had someone cut across the front of his car scraping the bumper, so my dad pulled him over to ask his details of which he refused and as my dad took the registration, he set off and ran my dad down, injuring his foot and pushing him into the motorway. He claimed he didn't see my dad due to the rain (likely story) but accepted liability as he'd clearly done it; nearly 2 years on (maybe a week off 2 years) and still the case hasn't been resolved. Anything that can be done here really? We want to avoid going to a 'no win, no fee' thing, as some physiotherapy (very little) has been provided and there have been trips to private doctors over the injury, and we don't want to end up paying out for that but it's getting beyond a joke now.

Thanks.

Honestly? You should really be talking to your legal cover regarding this. If you took his reg down right, insurers can get your policy number + insurer instantly. If you have injury, you should have notified your insurer when reporting and then they would have instructed any legal cover for you. This could end up being Kindertons, Minster Law, or any number of solicitors firms that we keep on retainer for business. If liability is in dispute - which is sounds like it is - we can only do so much. Due to a person being unable to be issued on more than once for the same incident, we are entirely at mercy of your legal protection. Your injury payout will dwarf the vehicle repairs, and as such we tend to agree to the principals of the MOU and abide by the decision of the courts on the injury aspect.

Short answer - Solicitors, they are your friends in this case. We play second string to them in these events

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But you also put the registration number and, as said above, that should be enough to find any factory fitted options surely? Like for example if you choose the 1.6 engine over the 1.4 in the titanium, that will be known to insurers and doesn't have to be declared as a factory option.

No - Car data checks on registration provide minimal data to us. VIN numbers, make, model, colour, engine size, engine type and the standard dimensions of the vehicle + its avg weight.

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When I pick up my new car do I tell my insurance company bout my added extras like stop start button Sony dab tint windows?

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When I pick up my new car do I tell my insurance company bout my added extras like stop start button Sony dab tint windows?

Yes

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The way to look at it is that if you have to ask if you should mention it - you should mention it.

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If one would need to declare factory fitted options, there must surely be thousands driving around with them undeclared...

For example, I have a Focus Zetec with the Appearance Pack (Privacy Glass and 17 inch alloys)... so these should be declared over a standard Zetec with normal windows and 16 inch alloys by what has been said above.

I wonder how many people load up a car with options and not think about that? I certainly didn't!

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Its a very big problem. A lot of the time we will overlook it if its factory fitted and ask for additional premiums, etc. If its clearly obvious you've added like, a spoiler - not so much. I think every insurer handles it differently

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I wonder how many people load up a car with options and not think about that?

or even buy a car not knowing that some of its features are actually additional options and not just standard on that model.

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My first car was a mk6 Fiesta which I bought brand new and was a special edition. The model was a style "summer" as it was known, it came with privacy glass and an aux

1fiesta1.jpg

I tried explaining this to the insurance company and they couldn't find it on their records so just put it down as a style.

Cut a long story short someone crashed into me and wrote my car off and all money was paid out fine,

There's so many different "rules" when it comes to insuring cars, like a mine field

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Although my insurance company requires me to declare extra factory fitted options, I only found out by chance as they did not ask me outright. I was asked if the car was modified. A very misleading question.

It is also very unfair for the insurer to expect the buyer of a secondhand car to know if the car has factory fitted extras especially when manufacturers often add items to the standard spec during a cars production life.

If this info is so important to insurers then it should be their responsibility to check the manufacturers build records (such as Ford Etis) to check that they are charging correctly for the cover required, or these options need to be listed on a legal document such as the V5 and passed on to consecutive owners.

If my insurer wants to void my policy over undeclared factory extras, then I will see them in court.

My brother use to work for CIS insurance. They make it the owners responsibility so when it turns out there are mods to the car, they don't have to pay out. Unless your an expert or do some research prior to purchasing the car, your not going to know its had mods. And they've got you.

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I currently pay about £450 for my insurance (2009 1.6tdci Titanium, 39yo, clean licence).

I used the moneysupermarket app to do some quotes.

Same car coming out at £584

2007 Jaguar XK 4.2 V8 350bhp £666

2007 Audi RS4 4.2 V8 420bhp £624

Re-quoted my car with the mods I've made (ZS front lip and rear bumper and spoiler) £800

Even a Lexus IS-F 5.0 V8 450bhp is under a grand

How does that work then?

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Sorry for the lack of reply, ended up sat in front of the NFL all night last night...

From what I can tell - Cars with a body kit are more appealing to thieves. Also, body kits do, unfortunately in many insurers eyes, indicate the sort of driver you could be. It's stereotypical, it's not always correct, but it puts you in the boy racer category and then an exponentially higher risk to any insurer than someone who isn't into that sort of thing.

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Alright mate great topic!

I'm on traders and I think I can only have 1.4 and below because I am only 19 but do you know the absolute limit? Could I have a 1.4 turbo? Thanks H

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Its completely down to each insurer I think - I've seen some people with 1.8l engines and 3k premiums to match them - but if they're happy to pay...

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I was wondering if changing the bulbs classes as a modification?

Thinking of these: http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=290648450719&var=590047557197

As it is just a bulb change and not 'modifying' the unit, would that matter or do they have to be changed with exact bulbs used by Ford?

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No, Changing bulbs doesn't class as a mod, atleast we don't class them as such. I have some Nightbreakers in my fiesta and Admiral didn't want to know about them either. Classed as consumables, I believe.

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Same as tyres.

They can't expect you to replace with exactly the same brand every time.

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Same as tyres.

They can't expect you to replace with exactly the same brand every time.

I've heard some make you keep run flat tyres for "safey" and if you changed to a normal tyre, and had a crash - they wont pay out. Not sure how true this is mind..

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If I had run flats I'd change them too.

Trialled them on my work car a couple of years back and the ride comfort was terrible.

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