Posts tagged car insurance
Imagine a world without no claims bonus. If you have built up a good history of claim free driving, there is probably nothing that fills you with more dread than the prospect of losing your hard earned No Claims Discount. And, of course, these days, once you have it, you can protect it – at least for the first claim or two.
The americans call this accident forgiveness:
But for many drivers who haven’t been able to build up NCB entitlement, the price of insurance can be a massive problem. Young drivers and drivers of performance cars (often second cars) in particular have a big problem with lack of no claims.
In truth, having managed to avoid accidents is often, in practice down to luck as well as judgement and safe driving.
And there are other ways that you can lose your valuable NCD too, such as coming back from a period abroad or leaving company car schemes.
One fresh way of catering to this market is that available from Magic Quote, where the no claims bonus is abandoned in favour of a higher excess than usual. It’s certainly not a method that is suitable for everybody, but for the target market, who have been let down by the no claims system, it offers a route to affordable car insurance.
And if you’re a true petrolhead, this list might sometimes make depressing reading. But it is not all bad news. The top 50 cars include some of the least inspiring vehicles ever, but they also show that the cars enthusiasts are passionate about can sell in the huge numbers required to make it onto this list.
So while it is a little disappointing that the Corolla tops the list, the presence of cult icons like the Beetle and Golf in the top 10, goes a long way to redress the balance.
And the Escort’s entry reminds us of great variants like the Mexico, RS2000, XR3i, Cosworth. Incidentally the Escort sold 4,105,192 units in the UK, which makes it Britain’s best selling car ever.
You probably won’t be surprised to know that Flux have specialist schemes which would suit every car on this list, from classics, to american sports cars. From the tiniest Fiat to the largest Chrysler people carrier or Ford pickup. And there are not all that many car insurance brokers who can claim that.
Two notes about this list:
- I’ve put together the list in this format, because whilst I have found these figures online, for example at MSN cars, and the data is freely available via Wikipedia and others, I have not been able to find a handy to view table up to now.
- These figures are difficult to interpret, and should really be used as a rough indication. For example, models such as the Golf and Civic have changed to become almost unrecognisable now compared to the original model. Other cars have borne more than one name or marque. Then you have odd cases like the Vauxhall Cavalier, which in this table appears in two places, because someone has arbitrarily chosen the dividing point to be based on the Opel equivalent’s name change. Should the two entries be added together, conflating all Ascona, Cavalier and Vectra models? Should the three model names be counted separately, even where they are the same car? But if we’re allowing this, why shouldn’t the Focus be lumped in with the Escort it replaced? It just goes to show that lists like this are a minefield, but that makes them none the less interesting, and even in a dry ‘factual’ list like this, there is room for opinion and argument.
Police in Kent have come under fire following their controversial scheme to stop car crime. Officers have been placing “fake” parking tickets on cars with visible valuables left inside the vehicle. When opened, the parking ticket actually advises the driver to be more aware next time they leave personal items on show in their car.
Locals have complained that this actually attracts criminals to the car, despite the official figures indicating a 20% drop in car crime since the scheme went live.
So is this a good or bad idea? I am of the opinion it’s just another visual aid directing criminals to the Sat Nav left on a car seat!
We should all take more care when leaving the car, I always find myself moaning at friends and family when they leave bags and coats on show… the usual reply is “no-one will steal that”! It is better to be safe than sorry… but do we really need a huge yellow sticker on the windscreen advertising our stupidity?
After someone posted that, in his opinion, the Skyline’s raison d’etre was to:
“flatter the below the belt aspirations of all those who might be challenged in that region”
the car’s fans have been out in force defending the honour of the car which probably comes closer than any other to being the people’s supercar. You can join the debate here, so whether you think the Skyline is the pinnacle of automotive excellence, or agree with Paris, let us know. You can also let us know which generation is your favourite. And if you need Nissan Skyline insurance, give us a call on 08000 83 88 33.
Today marks the start of our brand new tie-up with PistonHeads and we’d like to welcome all the PHers to our pad. We’re really pleased to be associated with PistonHeads, and we know that everyone using the site is as car-mad as we are. We’ve already announced a great introductory offer, where one lucky punter in with a shot to win free car insurance.
But we’ve got some even more exciting things in store for you over the coming weeks and months, and although I’d love to reveal more, you’ll just have to wait.
While you’re waiting, you could do worse than check out www.influx.co.uk – our online car magazine, updated daily.
And while I’m here, here’s something for the weekend – this is one reason we prefer to insure people who love their cars – they know how to work their handbrake…
We’ve mentioned this before, but a recent article in the Independent on Sunday has nicely highlighted how the practice of getting insurance under a parent’s (or other relative’s) name, known in our industry as ‘fronting’ could leave you severely out of pocket.
Representatives from Zurich, More Than (Royal Sun Alliance’s consumer brand) and Norwich Union (currently being rebranded to Aviva) were wheeled out warning that fronting is a bad idea for all concerned.
Keith Lewis from Zurich said:
“Not only can it lead to a claim being refused but also both the young person and their parents can be charged with insurance fraud.”
wheras moreth>n’s Keith Maxwell adds
“One of the first things we check when a claim comes in is whether there has been any fronting. It’s not a wise move.”
So what can young drivers do about bringing down the cost of car insurance. The distinguished panel share some tips:
“The quickest way to cut this is by building up a no-claims bonus [in your own name], which can ultimately reduce premiums by half to two-thirds.” Keith Maxwell (morethan)
“This is the passport to cheaper premiums. It’s best to bite the bullet and start building it up as quickly as possible,” adds Erik Nelson (NU)
Agreed. It’s worth pointing out that although you will pay more in the short term, if you steer clear of too many claims, you will save money in the long run – especially when it is time to leave the family home.
“Look at taking the Pass Plus driving course. This advanced qualification can bring discounts of 10 per cent on premiums.” Erik Nelson (NU)
The Passplus course will save you money, but NU seem to be a bit stingy here. Some of our schemes offer a discount of up to 40% for Pass Plus qualified drivers.
“We offer a rapid bonus scheme. Basically, you insure the car in a block of nine months, at the end of which you are credited with a full year’s no-claims bonus,” Erik Nelson (NU)
What Mr Nelson doesn’t mention, is that these “Bonus Accelerator” policies, also touted by Admiral/Elephant, often have a few drawbacks. Frequently they charge you a higher monthly fee for 10 months than you would pay on a twelve monthly basis. Secondly, this undermines the basis of No Claims discount somewhat, and, as a result, some companies are reluctant to accept bonus from these accelerator policies. Companies, which have, in the past included such well known names as .. er.. Norwich Union! Quote from the thread linked above
“It seems a bit confusing as I got a quote from Norwich Union with 1 years NCB for £327 but when I spoke to them on the phone and tolod them it was a 10 month BAP, they said they didn’t recognise it and could only quote me over £500.”
Norwich Union have clearly changed their mind since then.
- More Than and Norwich Union, have both run “Black Box” powered Pay as You Drive schemes, although, as Mr Nelson explains, Norwich Union have had to cancel these.
“We had hoped … that the car manufacturers would start offering the GPS boxes as standard. Ultimately, the expense meant we had to call a pause.”
Another thing we’ve been saying for a while, is that these schemes are using technology for its own sake – drivers who don’t drive as far can benefit from discounts on a limited mileage policy without having to submit to curfews or corporate snooping.
“Go for a smaller car in a low insurance group. And consider if you should go with third party, fire and theft cover rather than fully comprehensive, and whether you need the car for commuting or just leisure driving.” Keith Lewis, Zurich
This is all very sensible stuff. If your car is low value (let’s face it, most people start off with a banger) TPFT is the most sensible level of cover. We made a list of the ten cheapest cars for young drivers, but there are others that fit the common theme – low engine capacity, small cars with ready availability of cheap parts.
“Younger drivers will have an excess imposed, but by agreeing to a slightly larger one, the premiums can be cut.” Keith Maxwell (Morethan)
Very true. A voluntary excess can reduce the premium, but be careful not to raise it too high, as if you have an accident you may have to fork out the amount of your excess before you can get back on the road.
- Join an owners club or online forum. This can bring you a discount of up to 15% on a policy, easily covering any membership fees with the insurance saving.
- Take extra security precautions to reap an extra discount. So fit the best alarm you can, and try and persuade your dad to let you keep your car in the garage.
- Can’t find a PassPlus near you? Well there are plenty about, but perhaps you might find a more convenient venue doing the IAM or Max Driver courses. Don’t worry – we do discounts for those as well.
- Be wary of comparison sites. As you’ve seen above, some companies will try and foist a 10 month ‘accelerator’ policy. Another advantage to the companies pushing these is that it gives them an unfair advantage on aggregator sites if everyone else is offering 12 month policies – remember they are offering around 17% less cover. It is always best to include a specialist broker or two when it comes to ringing around. You will usually find that you end up paying less over the phone than you do online – despite what you might think.
So, some good tips, and some iffy ones from the major insurers, but I have a few more young driver car insurance tips that might help out:
To speak to a specialist now, you can call us on 08000 83 88 33.
One of our colleagues came into the office today and was telling us about a holiday in gay Paris. In the course of the conversation she mentioned that a tour guide at the Arc de Triomphe had told her that no car insurance policy in the world was valid on the crazy ten-lane, twelve exit roundabout / junction that encircles the monument.
This sounded a little unlikely. Even though the junction is clearly more dangerous than most, insurance works on the basis of pooled risk, so it would be highly unusual, and probably the thin end of the wedge, if insurers started singling out even one dangerous junction and excluding cover.
What’s more, the policies we offer which provide Europe-wide car insurance cover don’t have any such specific exclusion attached to them, so the worldwide claim of the guide was definitely wrong. Some more research was in order.
Checking the internet, there were a lot of other folk who had been told the same by the Parisian guides, and repeated it on their blogs or sites, but no citation of a verifiable source. So I obtained a copy of a policy document from Macif, the largest French car insurance company. Sure enough, there are no specific exclusions listed there, so I made some further enquiries.
It turns out the the truth is rather more prosaic, but no less interesting. Owing to the complexity of the road system around the Arc de Triomphe, the insurers have an agreement to settle all claims on a knock-for-knock basis, with each company bearing 50% of the total loss. This is to avoid the protracted disputes and legal challenges, which would arise when trying to determine who was at fault for the accident.
In fact this is no different to what happens in many situations, in this country and abroad, where fault is hard to determine, or where the expense of determining who was at fault would not be worthwhile.
So, simply, the story is a myth, presumably either something has been lost in translation, or the French tour guides are having fun telling stories to the tourists.
If only the ads in the UK were as good as these, from Dutch insurance company Centraal Beheer of Appeldoorn. Why can’t Churchill, Admiral and Hastings come up with anything remotely as entertaining as these?
Mark Davis of Schenectady, New York, has provided what is, quite possibly, the dumbest insurance fraud perpetrated in recent years. He rang his insurer to report a broken rear windscreen on his Mitsubishi Eclipse. Problem was it wasn’t broken, so when the loss adjuster turned up, he found it intact and rejected the claim.
Clearly this wasn’t the result Davis had been hoping for, so he called back the insurance company and asked them to check it again. The adjuster dutifully returned to the car to find that it was indeed broken. Unfortunately for our would-be fraudster, he also found a bunch of witnesses who had seen Mr Davis smashing the window in himself.
So instead of receiving his claimed $3,300 payout, the witless crook can instead instead look forwards to getting up to seven years behind bars.
If you have anything slightly unusual is that they can be completely unhelpful. Seeing that GoCompare had added a few specialists to their panel, like A-Plan, Express and Sureterm, I though I’d run through a quote on a lightly modified Nissan Silvia, to see what their prices were like.
Unfortunately, although it happily lets you fill in all your details, it then brings up the supremely unhelpful list below. None of their panel, specialists included, could quote it. Nice one GoCompare!
It just goes to show that if you want a quote on something even a little bit out of the ordinary, you are currently still best off leaving the aggregators for Mondeo man and giving a genuine specialist broker a call. (Our number is 08000 83 88 33)
—UPDATE 16/10 —
I think some people thought I was having a pop at either GoCompare or the specialists currently on their panel. My point was really that the aggregator model, whilst very useful in many circumstances is not any help in the many cases where there is anything even slightly unusual.
I have recommended elsewhere on this blog that customers should always try to include a mixture of aggregators, direct writers and brokers when they are shopping around – If you have a classic, modified, imported or kit car, or if you are a younger driver, have convictions, female or mature, brokers can ask the questions that aggregators can’t or don’t – and that even includes the ones I listed.