Car insurance has become more expensive than ever before

Motorists are now paying an average of £666 for their coverage, which is an all-time high.

According to research by Consumer Intelligence, premiums have elevated more than five times the current rate of inflation to 15.7%.

Almost half of the increase last year occurred in three months to May, and the premiums have increased by over a third since October 2013.

Consumer Intelligence blamed the rise on a cut to the discount rate on personal injury claims in March from 2.5% to -0.75%.

The rate is used to determine compensation payments handed to accident victims to consider the extra interest they could gain. The fact that it is now a negative rate means that there are higher pay outs for insurance companies, leading to inflated premiums for car owners.

The rise in Insurance Premium Tax to 12% from 10% last month will have taken its toll on drivers, which will add an estimated £13 to the policy if insurers pass the tax on to motorists, this is eventually expected to increase to 20% in line with VAT.

Over 50s insurance has seen the biggest increase of all with a 17.9% rise, but still pay the least of any age bracket (£418).

Drivers between 21 and 24 years of age pay the most for their policies with an average of £1,202 but saw a below average rise of 13.1%. According to Consumer Intelligence, this below average change is down to cost-reducing black boxes, with 62% of the policies for younger drivers use telematic technology.

Drivers living in London are still the highest paying area with an average of £1000, which is more than double Scotland and South West where the average price is £474.

Up until this year rates increases were fairly flat but since the start of 2017 we have seen substantial rises especially since the Insurers price the cost of Ogden rate rise into their premiums.

The Governments after facing a huge backlash from the Insurance industry had planned to review the rate increase but the general election and fallout from this now seems to have taken precedent.

Notice for Enterprise Insurance PLC policyholders

Very Important

Please read the following it applies to all Enterprise Insurance PLC policyholders placed through Orbit Underwriting Limited.

 We have been informed that the Provisional Liquidator will be presenting his report and recommendations to the Supreme Court of Gibraltar at 10:00am on the 26th October 2016. The report will include the assets and liabilities attributable to Enterprise’s general insurance business and will recommend whether a Liquidator should be appointed.

The GFSC appointed Grant Thornton on the basis that the Directors of Enterprise had determined the company was insolvent. Fresh actuarial reviews and work undertaken to date indicate this to be indeed the case. Whilst the report has not been finalised, on the basis that Enterprise’s liabilities attributable to its general insurance business exceed its assets, the appointment of a Liquidator will be recommended. The Supreme Court of Gibraltar will determine whether the appointment coincides with the date of the hearing on the 26th October.

It is the intention of the Provisional Liquidator to disclaim all current and inforce contracts as onerous contracts and files notices of disclaimer with an effective date of the hearing to prevent the continued accrual of liabilities on an insolvent estate. Whilst the decision of the Court cannot be presupposed, a notice of disclaimer and the appointment of a Liquidator is the probable outcome. This means that all current and inforce contracts will immediately be disclaimed from the 26th October 2016 and clients will no longer hold a valid policy of insurance in the absence of arranging alternative cover from that date.

 The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) have indicated that they will refund premiums to our clients that qualify directly and automatically. 

 We have been working tirelessly to inform, seek alternative cover and call all of our affected clients. We cannot emphasise how much we regret the unease and inconvenience that this has caused our clients and we are doing our upmost to assist you through this disruption.

Please also see the original notice

Notice for Enterprise Insurance PLC Policyholders

Please read the following it applies to all Enterprise Insurance PLC policyholders placed through Orbit Underwriting Limited.

 On 25th July 2016 the Gibraltar Financial Service Commission (the Commission) applied to the Supreme Court of Gibraltar for the appointment of a Provisional Liquidator.

The main responsibilities of the Provisional Liquidator are to protect the assets of the company and to establish its financial position. The Provisional Liquidator, together with the support of the Commission, will focus all efforts in to dealing with claims and will work alongside the relevant compensation schemes with the view of achieving the best possible outcome for policy holders.

All EIC Insurance policies are protected by the FSCS (Financial Services Compensation Scheme) please see the FSCS website for further details: http://www.fscs.org.uk/news/2016/july/update-for-customers-of-enterprise-insurance-company-plc/

Below is a link to the FSCS website explaining the level of protection under the scheme:- http://www.fscs.org.uk/what-we-cover/compensation-limits/insurance-limits/

The FSCS can be contacted directly on either 0800 678 1100 or 0207 741 4100.

The GFSC, (Gibraltar Financial Services Commission) has also provided a helpline number which is +350 200 40284.

Policy holder queries can also be directed to http://www.fsc.gi/fsc/EnterpriseStatement.htm

Further updates and Q&A’s can be found on EIC’s website https://www.eigplc.com/index.php

We have contacted Orbit Underwriting and they are awaiting clarification from EIC and until the financial position of EIC is established they are unlikely to release any further details.

What happens if I have an ongoing claim?

In general the FSCS can only pay claims once they are unhappy that the firm cannot pay their own claims. This means the liquidator would need to do their due diligence before they can declare the firm in default and pay claims.

 

Quotax would like to take the opportunity to advise our clients that Enterprise Insurance are covered by the Financial Services Compensation scheme who are updating their website regularly.

Lorry and Truck insurance

Collateral lies need not spoil insurance claims

The Supreme Court has stated that lying on an insurance claim shouldn’t necessarily invalidate it.

It went on to say that collateral lies that are untrue but do not affected the validity of a claim are acceptable.

The votes were in at four to one in favour of the change to one of the important principles behind the current insurance law.

This has not been met with the same view as the insurance industry warned that policy prices could rise and called it a “blow for honest customers”.

The decision came about after a case involving a Dutch cargo ship. The engine room was flooded however the owners ‘deliberately’ lied by claiming the crew could not investigate an alarm due to heavy seas. It was deemed that the accident was caused due to bad weather and therefore the lie was irrelevant according to the court.

The judge that dealt with the original court case felt the lie ‘amounted to a fraudulent device’ which in turn invalidated the claim. The Court of Appeal upheld the judgement however after it was presented to the Supreme Court, they overturned the decision.

One of the four judges, Lord Clarke stated “The critical point is that, in the case of a collateral lie….the insured is trying to obtain no more than the law regards as his entitlement, and the lie is irrelevant to the existence of that entitlement. Such a lie is immaterial to the claim.”

The judgement would suggest that if someone lost a receipt so fabricates one for the same amount, would still be able to make a valid claim.

The Association of British Insurers (ABI) has warned that insurance policies could be on the rise as a result and that they will be looking into the judgement carefully.

The ABI director of general insurance, James Dalton said “This decision risks pushing up the cost of insurance and prolonging the pay-out process for the vast majority of people who are honest customers. Lies are lies. Insurers will investigate all suspicious claims and we make no apology for doing so as it keeps premiums down for honest customers.”

The principle is thought to apply to millions or household, travel and motoring policies.

Consumer affairs expert at MoneySuperMarket, Kevin Pratt said “It will still be a fraud if you fabricate a claim, and it will still be a fraud if you exaggerate a claim,” he said.

“But insurers can no longer use so-called ‘collateral lies’ to reject a valid claim. The one worry is that, if insurers are paying more claims as a result of this ruling, then they will increase premiums.”

Duty of fair presentation replaces duty of disclosure

From August 2016 the insurance industry will see major changes to the obligation on parties to provide their insurers with relevant information.

Since 2013 the rules for ‘’consumers’’ ( an individual who enters into a contract wholly for the purposes unrelated to the individual’s trade, business or profession) have moved away from the traditional ‘’Duty to disclose’’ to the ‘’Duty of fair presentation.’’ On the 12th August 2016 ‘’Non-Consumers’’ (business related insurance) will follow suit.

innsurance legislation changes

The new legislation is designed to be less onerous on the customer and to place more pressure on the insurer to take more of a lead in the information gathering process. It is hoped that the new guidelines will stop insurers taking a wholly passive approach and then looking to deny cover on the grounds of non-disclosure.

 

Overview of the new legislation:

  •  Move from duty to disclose to duty of fair presentation
  • Commercial Policyholders should disclose every material circumstance that they know or ought to know, if they don’t do this they should give their insurers information that is sufficient to put the insurer on notice that further enquiries may be necessary.
  • It is unreasonable for an insurer to assume that the individual purchasing the insurance has every single material fact to hand and compels an insurer to dig deeper should they need further information.
  • The presentation of the facts to the insurer should give a clear indication of the risk to the Underwriters-this is to prevent submissions that are too brief or to prevent data dumping (where Policyholders bombard the insurer with vast amounts of data that is not relevant).

 

If there is a breach of disclosure:

 

Non-deliberate breach or non-reckless breach:

  •  Claim refused on basis information was available – All premium must be refunded from inception and the policy will be voided.
  • Increase in premium – The insurer could reduce the claim payout by the amount that was under paid at inception for example. If only half the correct premium was paid at inception the insurer may only pay half the claim.
  • Terms changed – An insurer may choose to alter the cover or excesses of a policy and settle the claim under those new terms.

 

Deliberate breach

  • The Insurer can void the policy and keep all of the premium paid but the Insurer must prove that the policy was deliberately misrepresented.

Overall, the new legislation shares the responsibility of the disclosure between Insurer and Insured and falls in line with the Financial conduct authorities’ big push on treating customers fairly. August 2016 will mean that brokers will play are more important role than ever condensing the information from the insured, presenting it in a way that is easy for an Insurer to provide suitable cover with a premium that is reflective of the risk.

Daniel Fosker

Director Quotax

Bus and Coach insurance news

School coach company sent into administration following fire

School bus services have been disrupted following Gerald Coaches Ltd. being placed in administration. The Coach and Bus company suffered a fire just over a month ago that caused damage at the company’s depot. Gerard’s Coaches had been trading since 1991 and employs over 50 staff with a fleet of 50 coaches.

The fire, in August 2015, led to the destruction of half of the fleet’s repair workshop and damaged three of the company’s vehicles.

The West Yorkshire Authority said that they were working hard to ensure that service disruption is at a minimum and if anyone is in doubt they should contact their school.

Daniel Fosker Quotax Insurance Services – Unfortunately it is extremely common for businesses to go into administration following a disaster even if they have some level of business interruption cover. Various Insurance sources estimate that between 40% to 80% of businesses that suffer a major disaster cease trading within 2 years the exact figure varies from Insurer to Insurer. We encourage our commercial clients to take out sufficient business interruption cover so they can continue to trade should the worst happen. If any Bus and Coach companies would like to discuss how we can help cover your business please feel free to call us on 0208 469 9679.  Quotax Bus and Coach Insurance.  

Insurance premium Tax to increase by 3.5% from November 1st

On the 8th July 2015 The Chancellor announced in his budget that the standard rate of insurance premium tax would increase from 6% to 9.5% effective from 1st November 2015

For Travel Insurance, mechanical appliances and certain vehicle insurance the rate would remain at 20%

This will affect the following clients (Please note this is not the complete list of business Quotax places that may be effected):

Taxi Insurance

Minibus Insurance

Short term (Temporary) Minibus Insurance

Coach and Bus Insurance

Commercial Insurance

Fleet Insurance

Private Car Insurance


Basic outline of changes:

 

New Business and Renewal transactions

  • Inception/renewal date before 1 November 2015: 6%
  • Inception/renewal date on or after 1 November 2015: 9.5%

 

Mid Term Adjustments (MTAs) on policies incepted or renewed before 1 November 2015

Refund Premiums (RPs):

  • Effective date of MTAs before 1 November 2015: 6%
  • Effective date of MTAs on or after 1 November 2015: 6%

Additional Premiums (APs):

  • Effective date of MTAs before 1 November 2015: 6%
  • Effective date of MTAs on or after 1 November 2015: 9.5%