Save money with specialist car insurance
The different types of specialist or niche car insurance are growing in number. Not only can they offer a better level of protection but they may also save you money.
Car insurance is a funny thing. It can leave those that don’t quite fit in with the norm paying over the odds for a mismatched policy. This is especially true when it comes to some types of vehicles. Insuring them under general conditions can be unfair, ill-fitting and sometimes not even possible.
Tim Lawlor from Quotiva, a niche insurance comparison site that works with a large network of specialist UK brokers, told us that specialist insurance can often lead to a much better deal in terms of the level of cover offered and in some cases the price of the policy. That's because brokers that specialise in this area typically have done so for a long time, building up trust with the underwriters they work with to offer better rates.
The market for niche or specialist car insurance is growing. Let’s take a look at a few different types.
Classic car insurance
Getting your prized classic car insured using normal methods can cost more than it needs to. That’s because regular insurers don’t consider the distinctions that come with classic cars and when they do, look unfavourably upon them.
Classic cars tend to be old (over 15 years), are rarely taken out on the road (so have low mileages) and are usually well maintained by doting owners. Opting for a niche insurer can guarantee you receive a more tailored policy that provides limited mileage discounts and better assessment on the risks associated with specific models and the age of the cars.
For example, at Performance Direct a comprehensive classic car policy for a 25-year-old male with a clean driving record on a 1980 MG B GT that will only do 1,500 miles per year is £156 with an excess of £200. This assumes that the policyholder owns/insures another car for everyday use.
But if you were to insure the vehicle using a standard car policy the best rate Perfomace Direct would be able to provide is £652 with an excess of £200, assuming a four-year no claims bonus. So by tailoring the policy you could be saving nearly £500!
What’s more, with a niche insurer you can agree a value should anything happen to the vehicle rather than settling for market value. Vintage models unlike modern cars increase in value as they age so getting this price checked every year is essential. Try Performance Direct, Sureterm and Quotiva to see how much of a saving you could make using a specialist policy on your classic car.
Sports car insurance
Expensive sports cars are best insured through a specialist company rather than a general insurer.
According to Ollie Frost from Sky Insurance this has more to do with the quality of the product you receive rather than the price. Frost says that standard car insurers can insure sports cars at competitive rates, but often with very high policy excesses.
This isn't the case with specialist sports car insurance.
Good ways to keep the cost down are to limit the named drivers to those aged over 25, become a car club member to get discounts and upgrading the security devices on the car. Try insurers like Sky Insurance and Peart to find a competitive quote.
Japanese import insurance
People tend to like Japanese cars because of their quality and innovative design. But why would anyone import one rather than buy it in the UK?
The main reason is that they are cheaper to import than buy at home. Other plus points include the fact that Japanese imported cars come with right hand drive, generally have better specifications and are usually sold second hand with a lower mileage.
The Misubishi FTO was a popular imported vehicle that eventually got a limited release here due to the huge number of them imported. Those that import a Japanese car will have to get an Enhanced Single Vehicle Approval test, which is just like a thorough MOT, before driving it in the UK.
Despite their popularity, most general insurers don’t cater for imported cars or offer very high premiums if they do. Niche insurers offer something called grey import insurance that can be tailored to how you want to use the car. Quotiva and Keith Michaels can help you find a good deal.
Kit car insurance
Kit cars are often built from scratch by enthusiasts so naturally they need some specialist insurance on the road. Sometimes this can be pricier, but the tailored policy will fully protect your prized procession better than an ill-fitting regular one.
Specialist cover typically includes protection against the expensive parts that might get damaged or stolen before you can even assemble them. It will also offer an agreed value should anything happen, rather than the usual market value on regular policies. This is important as like classic cars, kit cars are hard to value, especially if you modify them. They don’t always depreciate over time - in fact their value can increase.
You can bring down the price of a policy by reducing mileage and by becoming part of a vehicle owners’ club that can secure discounts. Find out what else a policy can offer by shopping around using Coversure, Sureterm Direct and Quotiva.
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