Insurance Question - HF
I took out 2 insurance policies with the same company last month, one for the Astra and one for the Golf.

Policies are in my name, but with me as the main driver and registered keeper of the Astra, and Rob of the Golf.

I obtained quotes online, and was asked for details of the proposer's (ie my) no claims discount. It was this that the quotes were based on. At no point was I asked for details of the additional driver's NCB.

I accepted the quotes, and sent them proof of my NCB. They subsequently sent out policy documents, and began collecting Direct Debit payments.

Yesterday, I got a letter telling me I had failed to send off proof of Rob's NCB, which they had never asked for in the first place, and that as a result, the premium for the Golf has now been tripled.

I spoke to their representative on the telephone, who maintained that this is standard practice

I based my decision to take these policies on the quotes I was given, which in turn were based on the information the company requested.

Surely the company cannot change their terms and conditions at this stage?

Any thoughts greatly appreciated.

Thanks
HF
Insurance Question - RichardW
HF,

I think it likely that there are some weasel words in the small print somewhere that you signed to say you'd read that says the insurance co can do what ever they like.

Having said this, I'd imagine that if you provide the evidence of RTB's NCD, pointing out your disappointment, not asked for etc etc, the premium will drop back to what it was. If not, cancel the DD and find another insurer - there are plenty out there that will offer what you want.

When we got a 2nd car and wanted to insure it in my wife's name (no insurance of her own but 4 years on mine claim free) my insurer wanted full price to insure it (only 3.5 times what I paid for it!), so I got onto Direct Line who gave us full NCD no questions asked (oh, and they were about the only insurer that agreed the car actually existed and hadn't been modified). Will be going back to them when I eventutally get it welded up and back on the road!


RichardW

Is it illogical? It must be Citroen....
Insurance Question - HF
Thanks very much for that, Richard.

I've been back to the website of my insurers, and indeed there is somethng weird in the smallprint, but it doesn't really make a lot of sense to me.

One of their terms states that the policy holder must be the main driver, and that an NCB can only be used for one policy.

Why, in that case, did they accept, when I asked for and accepted the quotes, that I was the policy holder for both policies but only the main driver for one? And why, when quoting, did they only ask for my NCB rather than the main driver's?

I will certainly take your advice and speak to them again. However, it seems we have the additional problem that Rob's NCB proof has been lost somewhere on his travels down south - which is why we decided originally it was best to put both policies in my name. He knows he had at least 4 or 5 years NCB, but cannot remember which company it was with (bleedin' idiot!)

I *am* tempted to cancel everything with this company and start again (which I already did 2 weeks ago due to appalling service from another insurer I was with).

I've been looking up quotes on Direct Line tonight, and it *does* seem that they can offer what we want. (They did deny the existence of the Golf*, and insisted that my Astra is TD rather than just D, but never mind...)

I think I am going to have to try and speak to some real people about all this, rather than just trying to get it all sorted over the net. But thanks for your help, it is much appreciated.

*As Rob would like to do too ;)

HF (pulling hair out of head and screaming wildly with frustration at insurance companies.)
Insurance Question - Mark (RLBS)
You *cannot* use NCD on more cars than it was earned on. If you built up 10 years NCD insuring two vehicles, then you have two lots of bonus for use on two future cars. You may not, not ever, not even a little bit, use NCD earned on one car to discount two cars.

However, there is also the subject of introductory discount. I (if I am the insurer) may have decided that I want to insure couples aged 25 - 35 who drive sensible cars with good claims histories. Therefore I will adjust by underwriting rates to ensure that I am competitive in that area. One of the things I may choose to do is to offer introductory discounts on my gross rate in order to be even more competitive for a select risk, although I will likely specify the quality of a risk that may be given an ID, and how much it may be given, quite tightly.

Bearing in mind the above;

You Insurer is telling you the truth. I cannot imagine that they were deliberately misleading you before. The issue is two fold; one that of simple human error - and you can chuck all the stones you like if you are "without sin".

The second is this - they are selling insurance, they are not underwriters. Typically they are selling it by rote. In many cases they may know no more about insurance than you, but have learned standard questions and reactions. The underwriters are experts.

So, your first issue is that you annoyed. OK, I can understand that, but not worth chucking your toys over. I would hope that they apologised for the misunderstanding, but if they didn't you're getting naff customer service not some huge criminal conspiracy.

Your real issue is to reduce the cost of your insurance. If Rob has got NCD from a policy somewhere, you must be able to trace it. He surely cannot have truly forgotten everything about it and lsot every piece of paper pertaining to it - you are talking about rather a lot of money after all.

If you truly cannot find it, and believe me any underwriter will take a very cynical point of view over such a situation, then you will have to tout around the market looking for someone who will offer a sizable ID.

This time make sure there are no misunderstandings and get if confirmed in writing if appropriate.

Then you will have to do the maths around new premium versus old premium versus cost of cancellation.

The NCD is owned by the policyholder. There is no issue with him taking out a policy on a car he owns and using his NCD even though he is stating that someone else is the main user. NCD is as much a discouragement against future claims as it is a reward for past non-claiming and the likelihood is that the policyholder will continue in such a way, irrespective of who is the main user and thus its not something that bothers them overmuch - although the rating and gross premium will usually relate to the main user, not the policyholder.

"I obtained quotes online, and was asked for details of the proposer's (ie my) no claims discount. It was this that the quotes were based on. At no point was I asked for details of the additional driver's NCB."

Why would you be ? Was the conversation like this...

How many cars are you insuring ? - 2
How long have you owned them ? - 5 years
How much NCD have you got ? - 5 years

Now, clearly a little clarifying question from them wouldn't have hurt, but you can see how it happens.

As a point, you will also find somewhere a note saying that the premium will need to be confirmed by the underwriters.

>I spoke to their representative on the telephone, who
>maintained that this is standard practice

Well, getting it wrong int he first place isn't standard practice, but their subsequent increase of premium certainly is.

>I based my decision to take these policies on the quotes I was
>given, which in turn were based on the information the company
>requested.

They are asking questions to help you, it is your duty to supply all material facts irrespective of whether or not you are asked and if you are unsure as to whether it is material or not, then to disclose it and let them decide.

Mark.
Insurance Question - eMBe {P}
It may be worth repeating here that you cannot use one set of NCB to buy multiple insurance policies on the back of it.

Insurance a rip-off?? There is no point discussing..... etc. because as bernie says, dis-believers will never believe.
Insurance Question - volvoman


As regards NCD\'s - as eMBe points out it\'s not possible to use one NCD to take out a number of policies. If it were hardly anyone would be paying the real price of their insurance. You may well have been dealing with someone in a call centre with little knowledge or training. A decent broker probably would have spotted the problem there and then but then \'you pays your money and takes your choice.\' I\'ve found in the past that I\'ve had what sounded like quite good quotes on the phone which have turned out to be not so good when I\'ve been sent the small print. There\'s no easy way out of this, insurers are wise to all the tricks people try to play in order to keep their premiums down. Having said all that, Mrs V is benefitting from my NCD even though the car is in her name, insured with another company and I\'m the named driver. Some companies will do this as a sort of goodwill gesture to secure/retain business. I\'ll give you the details if you\'d like.
Insurance Question - M.M
Similar thoughts to Volvoman..

Mark will be the guy for this, remember he always says forget what they tell you on the phone...look at the policy wording.

Many folks take out insurance hoping they don't get asked the specific question that catches them out, then happily consider themselves insured and lucky to "get away" with their situation.

When it comes to a claim you find the questions get harder than the ones on the initial application.

As far as I was aware if you are the main driver of a vehicle you need to be the person who applies for a policy and the one who produces the NCD.

Otherwise a low risk person could apply for all their friends policies and save them loads.

I think it was a misunderstanding that the first company ever took on the two policies in the way you wanted, I'm amazed any other will do so. They are *so* hot these days on ensuring folks declare the correct main user, particularly parents/kids.

If they really will it makes a nonsense of any one person stressing about their NCD.

M.M
Insurance Question - eMBe {P}
I agree with M.M and Volvoman. It is important to be totally honest with Insurance Companies. As some of you may recall, I occassionally help "Little" people take on "Big" organisations - a la "Jessica investigates" of the D.Tel.
A recent case was of an elderly long-retired teacher who is too gentle to say boo to a goose. Her car was stolen and then found burnt out. The "loss adjuster" treated her like a criminal and put her through the third degree trying to catch her out in any minute little detail that she might have got wrong on her application form. There was absolutely nothing wrong but he kept on dragging the matter out by asking more and more questions, about details going back some years, week after week. After my intervention, the nonsense was stoped and she was immediately paid a satisfactory amount for the written-off car.

A point HF and Rob need to bear in mind is that if they come up with the following true explanation (quoting HF) "....However, it seems we have the additional problem that Rob's NCB proof has been lost somewhere on his travels down south - .... He knows he had at least 4 or 5 years NCB, but cannot remember which company it was with ... " it will not likely be believed . They will think:
1. when he last renewed - how/who did he pay?
2. when he last taxed his car, surely he looked at the Insurance Certificate?
3. when the cover expired, did he not get a reminder to renew?
4. had he been driving his Golf unable to provide proof of insurance had he been required to do so at any time?
And so on. Even if you can find good reasons not to knbow these details, they will likely not find them believable .

Insurance may seem a rip-off and expensive, but when claims of genuine life-long severe, personal, injury result in payouts of millions of Pounds - that is when you realise how important it is to both you and the injured party who needs the money to survive in dignity for the rest of their damaged life.
Insurance Question - commerdriver
The policyholder in most cases owns the NCD the main driver on the policy can be someone else, in my case my 19 year old son. The way my insurer deals with this is that we get full NCD on the policy because I have earned it but the base price for the policy from which the NCD is deducted is calculated on him as the main driver
Insurance Question - Canon Fodder

commerdriver,

It's touching in these times to find someone who trusts his 19 year old so much ;0)

CF
Insurance Question - commerdriver
only to drive his car not my Commer
Insurance Question - Mark (RLBS)
>>When it comes to a claim you find the questions get harder than the ones on the initial application.

A *very* valid point. And depending on the incident, they can get a *lot* harder. You will not be safer because you were not asked. You have the duty to volunteer the information.
Insurance Question - Hugo {P}
HF

I went to insure two cars with Direct Line and couldn't get the 2nd car discount because both cars were a high insurance group.

So rather than paying the full premium for the cheaper car, I went to Peter Goord (01752 361888) and got an NIG policy on Both cars.

The Xantia was insured in MY name with full NCD - me as main driver SWMBO as additional Driver.

The 309 SRi was insured in SWMBO's name - no NCD but we got a 2nd car discount, roughly equivilent to the full NCD. SWMBO as main driver and me as additional driver. The only proviso is that we needed proof of the main car being insured - but as we were talking the same insurance company we simply referred them to themselves!

This way if her indoors decided to continue driving, she would be able to build up her NCD.

So my advice, and I'm sure Mark would agree.

Astra - In your name with the Full NCD
Golf - In Rob's name with a second car discount, he will probably end up paying a "full NCD" price with the discount. Also, Rob builds up a fresh NCD.

Each as named drivers on each others policies.

Mark's right. You've been badly advised here and should be entitled to a refund. Mark's actually quite useful sometimes....:)

Now you've been made aware, give that number a ring and get sorted!


Hugo

"Forever indebted to experience of others"
Insurance Question - HF
Many thanks for all the comments and advice given here, and especially to Mark for all the info you have given me.

I had no idea about the NCD only applying to one car - and the company's website certainly did not make this clear. I still feel that I have an issue with them about this, although I don't think I will take it any further, due to the following developments:

Rob miraculously looked in the back of his mind and remembered who his previous insurers were, and they are forwarding on a proof of his NCD.

I have spoken to the new insurance company about this, and it seems they are happy to accept this, and additionally to grant us some sort of discount for insuring two cars, and I think we won't end up very much more out of pocket than we were originally.

Still worried, because as Mark says, the people I speak to on the phone very possibly know no more than I do about insurance - so I really hope something isn't going to backfire.

If it does, I will throw my toys out of my pram, cancel the policy, and go somewhere else AGAIN. (would certainly try the numbers offered by a couple of Backroomers - thanks for that guys)

Cheers all,

HF


 

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