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    • Former MSE Wendy
    • By Former MSE Wendy 22nd Nov 07, 10:05 AM
    • 868Posts
    • 1,782Thanks
    Former MSE Wendy
    Car Insurance Article Discussion
    • #1
    • 22nd Nov 07, 10:05 AM
    Car Insurance Article Discussion 22nd Nov 07 at 10:05 AM

    This thread is specifically to discuss the car insurance and car insurance tricks articles.

    A new discussion has been started as the article now includes the best order to check comparison sites. To see the previous discussion read this.

    To reply or discuss the article click reply.
    Last edited by Former MSE Rose; 21-03-2011 at 2:31 PM.
Page 1
    • guestjim
    • By guestjim 26th Nov 07, 3:36 PM
    • 25 Posts
    • 15 Thanks
    • #2
    • 26th Nov 07, 3:36 PM
    • #2
    • 26th Nov 07, 3:36 PM
    As Martin says premiums are much cheaper this time of year . I did a similar scan of all the comparison sites in July and the cheapest available was £395 for the cover I wanted. This Saturday, when I genuinely wanted the insurance, I got the same cover (with a lesser excess) for £255. Moreover, at present there is an offer of free rescue/recovery/Homestart when you take out car insurance with Prudential - it lasts until 31 December. As Prudential happened to be the cheapest premium anyway for me it was a real bargain getting free breakdown insurance for the first year. Prudential may be competitive for others. It is chance I am getting insurance in Nov, but as well as being cheaper this year renewals will be cheaper in future years.
    • klint
    • By klint 28th Nov 07, 1:38 PM
    • 265 Posts
    • 88 Thanks
    • #3
    • 28th Nov 07, 1:38 PM
    • #3
    • 28th Nov 07, 1:38 PM
    There's a couple of questions that Martin leaves unanswered. First, he says premiums are cheaper at this time of year. Why's that? And when will they go back up again?

    Secondly, in his weekly email he says:

    "One MoneySaver e-mailed me to say he'd not realised he had to declare his speeding cam points to his insurer. When he did, it charged him £900 back-dated as a retrospective rise in premium."

    This is exactly what has happened to a colleague of mine at work (well nearly so, as it wasn't quite as much as £900.) I wonder what happened, did he pay up or is he taking the insurance company to court?

    My colleague's insurance policy had already expired before they realised about the undeclared speeding points. It was a genuine oversight caused by a belief that the DVLA would have told the insurance company about the points. My colleague did not make any claims, so the points had made no difference to the insurance company. And yet they are still asking for a retrospective additional premium. The speeding points did not cost the insurance company a single penny, so what would happen if my colleague refuses to pay?
  • safari
    • #4
    • 28th Nov 07, 4:47 PM
    • #4
    • 28th Nov 07, 4:47 PM
    'retrospective increase'? That's a penalty charge by any other name isn't it?

    I can understand how once they know about the points they could increase your premiums in the future, or even refuse to payout on a claim if you hadn't told them about your points, but trying to grab some money off you after the contract has ended because you defaulted is a penalty charge. It's even worse if no mention of 'retrospective premiums' is made in the contract.

    What a bunch of shakedown merchants!
    if i had known then what i know now
  • selimap
    • #5
    • 28th Nov 07, 10:59 PM
    Be honest in insuance
    • #5
    • 28th Nov 07, 10:59 PM
    I was going to post a comment that Martin only advised readers to be honest with their insurer for the practical reason that they might get penalised later. I was then shocked to read another posting saying that insurers were thieves for trying to collecte the correct premium retrospectively.

    Sorry, folks, insurance is beased on 'utmost good faith'. It's an essential part of the contract that the proposer declares everything reasonably relevant to the insurance even if not specifically asked. In the case of a speeding conviction, I'm sure the insurer or intermediary (agent) would have specifically asked about any points on the licence. So the person in question lied to secure a cheaper deal. The insurer did not know the risk they were insuring so under charged. The contract could well have been totally invalidated by this. The courts will uphold the insurer trying to collect this money once the situation was revealed.

    Insurance is not like buying other goods or services. You pay something aganist the insurer's promise to do something for you in the future if an insured risk occurs. You expect them to honour their promise, why do you think it's OK for you to lie tyo get the deal?

    I don't work for an insurer and I know some companies can try to get out of paying a claim that the insured believes is reasonable and honest. But most are ok most of teh time, in my experience.
    • klint
    • By klint 29th Nov 07, 12:25 AM
    • 265 Posts
    • 88 Thanks
    • #6
    • 29th Nov 07, 12:25 AM
    • #6
    • 29th Nov 07, 12:25 AM
    In the case of a speeding conviction, I'm sure the insurer or intermediary (agent) would have specifically asked about any points on the licence. So the person in question lied to secure a cheaper deal.
    Originally posted by selimap
    Not true. This person did not lie, and just did not realise. They had the same insurance policy for years. Then they were flashed by the camera. By the time the insurance renewal notice was sent, that was months afterwards, and they just filed the renewal notice away, not thinking about it, and just let the policy renew automatically (by direct debit.) It was only after they changed insurer, that the previous insurer found out about the points.

    The insurer did not know the risk they were insuring so under charged. The contract could well have been totally invalidated by this.
    Exactly, that's why the insurance company had not lost a penny. If the insured person had claimed, the insurance company would most probably ask for a photocopy of the driving licence, as they often do. Then they would have said this policy is not valid, because of the points, and they would have refused to settle the claim. So there was no "increased risk" for the company.
    • tilla66
    • By tilla66 29th Nov 07, 9:08 AM
    • 34 Posts
    • 10 Thanks
    • #7
    • 29th Nov 07, 9:08 AM
    • #7
    • 29th Nov 07, 9:08 AM
    Hi, just cancelled my elephant car insurance because we are going to SORN the car and they want £45 for the priviledge of cancelling the policy! This is apparantly a charge for 'admin'. Surely £45 is a bit excessive for someone to press a little button on a computer!!! even if there was slightly more admin than that its still excessive isnt it? Or am I just being daft?

    I dont know the ins and outs of the reclaim bank charges business but could this be a similar thing? Insurance companies charging unreasonable amounts to cancel a policy?

    It makes mad and depressed that these huge profit companies are just take take take from the hard working little man!
    • klint
    • By klint 29th Nov 07, 3:00 PM
    • 265 Posts
    • 88 Thanks
    • #8
    • 29th Nov 07, 3:00 PM
    • #8
    • 29th Nov 07, 3:00 PM
    Speak to Elephant: the last time I was with them, I seem to remember they allowed you to suspend the policy for a certain time, rather than cancelling it. If the car is declared SORN because it will take some time to repair, you could then resume the policy once it's back on the road, and you'll have the unexpired time starting from then. It may be cheaper than cancelling.

    By the way, the cancellation charge is supposed to cover the administration at the start of the policy too, e.g. setting it up and sending you the policy booklet and certificate. Imagine if you'd cancelled a month after taking out the policy, they wouldn't be able to recover their costs if they just charged you for one month pro-rata.
    • TokSik
    • By TokSik 2nd Dec 07, 9:29 AM
    • 18 Posts
    • 22 Thanks
    • #9
    • 2nd Dec 07, 9:29 AM
    • #9
    • 2nd Dec 07, 9:29 AM
    Sorry, folks, insurance is beased on 'utmost good faith'. It's an essential part of the contract that the proposer declares everything reasonably relevant to the insurance even if not specifically asked.
    Originally posted by selimap
    This is right up to a point - the contract IS partly based on good faith. However, no insurer is legally entitled to retrospectively claim an additional amount that they MAY have charged had they known the additional information. Given the number of insurers who insure people with penalty points as a matter of course, it's not a foregone conclusion that omitting to mention this to any insurer would invalidate the contract.

    And contrary to other views, this would NOT be upheld in any court if the insurer took the matter to court to try to seek enforcement. The only option open to the insurer is to ask for an additional amount for future cover, or to cancel the policy. Demanding retrospective additional amounts IS a variation to the contract, and arguable in court only by the policy holder as breach of contract (not the insurer) and only then IF the insuraqnce company refuse to uphold the existingly priced contract. I doubt that they would want this type of argument to go to court to be tested, as it would open the floodgates to thousands of others if the ruling went against them.

    As a debt adviser, I advise people with this type of demand to call the bluff of the company involved (because that is all it is - unenforceable bluff) and contact the company today by fax to enquire whether they are cancelling the contract by invalidating the insurance as a result of the omission, or whether they are attempting to vary the terms and conditions by adding an additional premium (albeit backdated) to the policy.

    I would advise anyone on this situation to get a new insurance in place forthwith (if the insurance company do not respond favourably by return the same day, as the existing policy may be invalid from this point - a grey area of law that would have arguable points for both sides should an accident happen from this point on and the validity of the policy was brought into question by the insurer).

    You are far better dealing with this situation BEFORE any accident occurs rather than after an accident, as the insurance company involed will almost certainly try to wriggle out of liability and wait for you to challenge them in court (which you COULD lose - the cost of which could be significantly higher if you are ordered to pay the other sides costs as well )
    If you just get a new policy from another insurer where you HAVE quoted any penalty points you have, and cancell the existing policy (about a £30 cost usually to cancel) you can safely tell your existing insurer where to put their demand for the extra money. Only then can you start to argue about who owes what to whom (ie if you paid for a years cover in advance, then the value of the existing amount of cover left owing will become a point of contention between you and the company demanding more money, as they almost certainly won't hand back any excess after they taken their admin fee (the £30 or so mentioned above) as they will claim that you owed them this amount retrospectively anyway so they are entitled to reclaim what you owed them from the existing value of your remaining cancelled policy. Your only recourse after this is to either complain to the FSO or take them to court to try to reclaim the remaining value of the cancelled policy.
    Last edited by TokSik; 02-12-2007 at 10:08 AM.
    • dogshome
    • By dogshome 6th Dec 07, 12:39 PM
    • 3,273 Posts
    • 1,708 Thanks
    Tesco Value Car Insurance
    Trawling the comparision sites as the renewal is in for my 10 year old 406, I found the price from Tesco's main site with a compulsory £100 Excess, uncompetitive to my renewal from Admiral. I then switched the enquiry to the Tesco Value- online only tariff. The price was £20 lower than Admiral's renewal, but looking at the small print, (seperate icon - new page), I found the Compulsory Excess was a whopping £475, and this is for 2 experienced drivers with zero points and max. No Claims driving a car worth just about £1000.00. In the event a write-off which would not take much with a car of this value, I would be contributing £640 toward an argueable £1000 claim. I don't suppose for a moment that any of Martin's disciples would enter a deal without reading the small print, but my advice is not to waste time filling the Tesco forms
  • swalklate
    Dont waste your money, take out a TP, F & T policy
    [quote=dogshome;7083171]Tesco Value Car Insurance
    "Trawling the comparision sites as the renewal is in for my 10 year old 406"

    If your car is worth under £1000 dont take out a fully comp policy, take out a third party fire and theft policy. It also sounds like you are setting your excess to high I'd set it around £500 as you will end up paying more in premiums if you claim for smaller repairs.
  • swalklate
    A bit of honesty please
    Your friend is not legally bound to pay the extra charges, having said this his insurance company are actually treating him fairly as he has essentially taken out a fraudulent policy (I know it was accidental but ignorance is no excuse when it comes to the law). By offering him the chance to pay back the extra costs the company is offering your friend an easy way out. Yes he probably could get away without paying; however he needs to think very carefully about four points.

    1. He runs the risk of a criminal record for providing fraudulent information at the time of purchase.
    2. Insurance companies talk to each other about fraud. It is likely that if he just cancels the policy and goes elsewhere he will be flagged up when the policy is underwritten by the new company.
    3. If bails and this sets a precedent, honest drivers will have to pay more in the long run as the insurance company will put the premiums up to cover their losses.
    4. He is being dishonest.

    In my opinion yes itís great to save money but your friend has made use of a service which he has not paid for in full. It doesn't matter that he has not claimed, he has been insured against the possibility of a claim, the probability of which is greatly increased as he has been caught speeding on more than one occasion.
    • klint
    • By klint 16th Dec 07, 1:43 PM
    • 265 Posts
    • 88 Thanks
    "More than one"? No, just the once.

    This is the trouble with insurance policies that self-renew without you having to do anything. The companies are trying to profit from customers' laziness to shop around, but it also means it is easy to forget about declaring speeding fines, as that means having to take a special positive action yourself and find the company's number and ring them up. It would have been better if every insurance company required their customers to fill in a form asking for any changes in circumstances every year.

    In the end, the insurance company agreed to waive the additional premium as a goodwill measure. So it's worth asking them.
  • autopian
    just saved £149.00 same cover and insurance comp
    hello every one, just got the best christmas present this year. i received my renewal from elephant for my insurance on my car, fully comp £331.00 on instalments (credit charge was £24.00). i decided to enter my details on and was quoted £182 from for the same exact cover. i called them today and they claimed the difference in price was purely down to the fact i was on monthly payments instead of a one off payment. i tried to argue the piont of principle that monthly charges should have been no more than £24 as stated in the renewal details. i was also told that my job details was different, news to me! i have been in the motor for over 20 years. any way i wacked it on the card which is paid off as soon as the statement is presented.
    • BB78
    • By BB78 4th Jan 08, 11:23 AM
    • 278 Posts
    • 36 Thanks
    In Martin's article "Choosing the right policy" he says:

    No-claims discounts don't necessarily reduce the premium. For every year you don't claim on the insurance policy you get a discount. This makes a substantial difference to the overall cost. If you do claim it's usually two years off this discount. This is deliberate to encourage people not to claim. You can also get a protected no-claims discount so that claims don't impact it.

    Remember though, if you do have an accident, even if you don't claim to keep your no claims discount, the price of the policy can rise simply because you may be assessed as a higher risk in the future.

    Insurance companies write into their policies that you have to inform them of all lose/damage whether you are claiming or not. If you claim they put your insurance up so why if you don't claim are they allowed to put your insurance up by considering you a higher risk? surely this constitutes an unfair clause, you're damned if you claim & your damned if you don't?
    By not claiming you have effectively saved them money as you are covering the cost of repairs over and above your excess yourself. If you don't tell them about something because you aren't going to claim you are not being honest & have invalidated your policy.
    • digitig
    • By digitig 4th Jan 08, 1:41 PM
    • 36 Posts
    • 32 Thanks
    Is cheapest best?
    I wonder whether it's really wise to go for the cheapest insurance available, at least if buying more than the statutory minimum insurance.

    I used to buy the cheapest insurance, until my wife had an accident with a neighbour's car. The insurance company completely stonewalled us (over 4 hours on hold on one occasion) and our neighbour, and didn't pay up until the neighbour filed against us with the county court and we took the case to the financial services ombudsman. Even then we only got the damage to the neighbour's car covered. The insurance company was willing to repair my wife's car, but although the policy stated that they would pick the car up for /repairs/, the insurers insisted that we take it to their choice of garage for /assessment/, and that would have been a four hour round trip (and at least half a day off work).
    So we got no better than third-party insurance for our fully comprehensive premiums -- the difference was money down the drain, and we still had to pay for the repairs to my wife's car, not to mention the soured relations with the neighbour and very nearly a CCJ against us. The insurer also wrote to us to say that because we had taken them to the ombudsman they would not be willing to renew the insurance at the end of term. We had no intention of inviting them to, but I hope that doesn't mean I have to answer "yes" to the "have you ever been refused insurance" question -- I don't consider that I was refused because I hadn't asked!

    When I checked, it turned out that the insurers did rather badly in customer satisfaction surveys (I wonder why?) Now we look at those surveys before buying, and most certainly do /not/ buy the cheapest available. I think the article should have a health warning -- just because the terms and conditions may look the same, the actual products, in terms of response when you make a claim, may be very different. And if you're sure you're never going to make a claim, why would you for fully comprehensive insurance?
    • Ialwaysgetdone
    • By Ialwaysgetdone 4th Jan 08, 3:44 PM
    • 243 Posts
    • 54 Thanks
    I was asked to find cheaper car insurance for an 83 year old and checked all the comparison sites. The Post Office came up second cheapest. I decided to check out the actual Post Office website and found that not only was it £60 cheaper than the amount the comparison site gave but they were offering a £50 voucher to be spent in the PO. This was about 10 months or so ago. Martin jogged my memory today on the radio
  • The deacon
    Hi Hope someone might be able to help me with this question.

    I cancelled my insurance policy some 10 months ago as i had no need of the car due to bing provided with hire cars through work.
    I still have access to these cars but am thinking of getting myself a two seater (yes i know it's my age)

    My question is, i have a letter from the last insurers stating that i am entitled to over 10 years no claims. Is there a time limit to this and will a new insurer say that it dosn't count because it was 10 months ago????

    Thanks in advance for any help.
  • pigworm
    Cheapest car insurance
    I agree with Digitig's earlier comments about not neccessarily choosing the cheapest car cover but getting the right policy (at the right price obviously). I too have had difficulty in the past with insurance companies (direct line in particular), who seem to do anything they can to get out of paying a claim. I wondered if anyone else has had any good/bad experiences with specific companies? It would be good to know who to avoid and who to take seriously in the future!!


    P.S. Do any of the comparison sites offer feedback on this kind of thing?
  • MARKY2006
    Question Can
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