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Declaring Strakes et al on Insurance

Old 12-04-2003, 09:17 AM
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Declaring Strakes et al on Insurance

I've been running on the last month of a transferred insurance policy, so only now have I looked in detail at renewal costs.

I know we have discussed insurance premiums again and again here, but here is some new information.

I asked my insurer, direct line, about what qualifies as a 'modification' in terms of having to declare it to them for consideration. The answer was everything of course. I took some time to explain what the strakes were (my only external accessory), including that they are an official mazda accessory fitted by the dealer, that they are not a performance mod, and that 75% of all cars will have these fitted.

The result is a 100 additional charge on my premium. This is because the car is now more likely to be stolen. They pointed out that they woulld expect ALL policyholders to declare such things to guarantee that a claim would be met.

To get accurate renewal prices I am now phoning all the online companies to explain what strakes are.

Currently ESURE are the best, as they have said that they will note the accessory on my policy, but not as a modification and not charge me for it. (I think their policy is to not insure 'modified' cars at all).

So, my question is, did you declare all your accessories, and how much extra are you paying because of them?
Also, if you didn't declare them, how comfortable do you feel right now ?
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Old 12-04-2003, 12:39 PM
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Unless you've made a modification that that you want covered because of it's monetary value, otherwise I would have just kept quiet about the strakes. They charged you 100 pounds, that's very close the cost of strakes themeselves... sounds like a bit of rubbish.
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Old 12-04-2003, 01:12 PM
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Originally posted by brothervoodoo
Unless you've made a modification that that you want covered because of it's monetary value, otherwise I would have just kept quiet about the strakes. They charged you 100 pounds, that's very close the cost of strakes themeselves... sounds like a bit of rubbish.
The premium isn't to cover the strakes, its to cover the potential increased chance of theft due to the car standing out more.

Of course this is rubbish, as the car has deadlocks, an immobiliser, and an alarm. Only a professional will take these cars, and not because of a bit of overpriced shiny metal on the sides.

But here is the concern. If you don't declare these accessories and you car is stolen, you may have your claim refused.
'Failure to declare' and all that.
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Old 12-04-2003, 05:02 PM
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I'm sorry to hear your insurance laws are as bad as ours. How do they come up with this "eye candy" index anyhow? Don't you think that someone is more apt to just steal the strakes and not the entire car just because there a few bits on shiny metal on them. I wouldn't state the strakes in the policy; it seems improbable that once the car was recovered (if recovered at all) that the adjuster would point at the strakes as the culprit. I mean if it was the culprit, wouldn't the thief take them with him... I totally agree with you, what I silly set of circumstances you found yourself in, damn insurance adjusters.
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Old 12-04-2003, 05:53 PM
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Re: Declaring Strakes et al on Insurance

Originally posted by jimbobjoe
So, my question is, did you declare all your accessories, and how much extra are you paying because of them?
Also, if you didn't declare them, how comfortable do you feel right now ?
Make sure you dont mention accesories, which they take to mean after market modifications and a premium hike. These are things fitted by the dealer at the time of sale, so when enquiring give the total purchase value of the car, and get the quote.

As direct line have a replace as new policy for the first year of a new car, once you have agreed to the quote, they will ask what options the car has so they can replace with the exact model. At this point say leather, sunroof, illuminated gear ****, strakes, etc.

They should not raise the premium for any of the items as they are covered in the quote for the total value. But they may query the sports exhaust as a performance modification, so you need to say its just a change to the sound and chromed pipes, with no horsepower benefit.

Cheers
---Dave

Last edited by druck; 12-04-2003 at 05:55 PM.
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Old 12-04-2003, 06:34 PM
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You cannot just ignore the rules of the insurance company. If they require certain things to be declared then you either declare them or go shop elsewhere.

I have had detailed conversations with direct line on this point, although I intend to escalate these higher up the organisation before I accept them. But the current stance is that ANYTHING not part of the basic specification of the vehicle IS a modification, and that MIGHT cost you money. They have not detailed exactly what the consequences of failing to divulge all accessories is, but it's not hard to imagine. So why pay hundreds of pound for insurance that may not be valid ?

The onus is on us as the customer to ensure that all required information is provided.

Slightly off-topic but in a similar vein, my previous car was hit whilst parked up and empty in car park last year. The other driver accepted full responsibility, and his insurance company paid for everything. In no possible way was I even minutely responsible for any of this. Direct line will not charge me a single penny extra for this 'accident'. Elephant.co.uk want an extra 100. Therefore I choose not to give my business to elephant. It is not my choice to just not tell them.

We may not like the rules of insurance companies, and it may well be that should the occassion arise to make a claim that such things are not really relevent.
But I repeat the question: who here has actually had that conversation with their insurance company? and if not, why ?
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Old 12-08-2003, 03:33 PM
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As far as I am aware the question is all around: "Have there been any 3rd party external modifications to the car?". As the strafes are standard accessories for an RX-8 and not "modifications", they should be treated as "standard".

I mean, do Ford Mondeo drivers get charged more for adding a low profile spoiler that is factory/dealer fitted? Don't think so!
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Old 12-10-2003, 04:44 PM
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jimbobjoe

As you know, I had similar conversations with some brokers. Taking elephant for example, they do not ask if the mods are 3rd party. They ask for any mod, including internal or external decorative changes.

If you go through their quotation process, and click on "yes" when asked about mods, you get a tick-list of various items, including manufacturer option alloys. Many of the items on the list are dealer fitted, and they all change the premium up by various amounts.

Funny you mention the accident in the car park. Many years ago, I had an MX-3 which was hit by a drunk driver when parked on the road side. I did not make any claim, however, next year my insurance just went through the roof. Of course I got far better deals elsewhere. The insurance company with the crazy risk assessment was Admiral, which I believe is very closely connected with elephant (parent company?).

Going back to the mods business, is the addition of a decorative strake a modification or is it an "addition"?. I am sure from a legal point of view, an addition of a strake is not NECESSARILY a modification......

What about luxury mats INSTEAD of standard mats? Technically they are internal decorative modifications, especially of they are fixed to the floor! Best to go to various insurance companies and see which one is willing to listen to some sense (ie letting you talk with one of their risk assessors/adjusters, etc).

I hate to have to insure a 2nd hand car. How would you know if something in your car was standard and something else aftermarket? That must be a pig.

Last edited by Jackel; 12-10-2003 at 04:49 PM.
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