Motor Insurance is challenging these days
If you've got it, flaunt it,- but are they both covered in this combination?

If you’ve got it, flaunt it,- but are they both covered in this combination?

We punters get taken advantage of quite a lot because we don’t bother to shop around and that’s particularly true of motor insurance.  Even though we have to renew every year, which reminds us of the need to take stock, some of us won’t bother to shop around to compare the price.

Insurers want to keep our renewal business so they don’t particularly want us to shop around – and they are not above trying to make it less likely that we will do so.

In order to discourage shopping around and encourage renewal with them brokers or insurers may:

  1. Encourage  automatic renewal if we pay by direct debit
  2. Send the renewal letter as late as possible
  3. Play hard to get with NCB confirmation
  4. Counter-offer with a lower premium but only if they think they are going to lose you.

Only the last one of these is helpful to you, because even if they offer automatic renewal they will still want you to confirm that you’ve had no claims or earned no points on your licence.  If you have had claims that they don’t know about or collected new points on your licence, they will want to charge you extra if they can and may start to treat you like a captive customer.

Our opportunity at renewal time, especially if we have not become a captive customer, is to shop around to make sure we’re not being taken for a ride.  This article is about why and how to do that. continues………

Personal injury claims for Wingers – Should I make a claim?
But what is the catch?

But what is the catch?

Once upon a time, in order to make a personal injury claim. you had to seek out and instruct a solicitor to act for you and this would involve  a commitment to pay his or her fees, win or lose, maybe even some payment up front.

Ordinary people really didn’t do this sort of thing unless they were supported by a trades union or an insurance company and it would probably be in life-changing circumstances, such as being put in a wheelchair.  Maybe not even then because you couldn’t sue the Crown; the Crown Immunity Act precluded it.

But in the last twenty years or so, really since solicitors were allowed to advertise for customers and to offer no-win-no-fee services, the situation has changed remarkably.  Personal injury claims following road traffic accidents (and medical negligence claims) are now commonplace and a new sort of injury, whiplash, has emerged as a common feature.

Whiplash is easy to claim, and difficult (or expensive in surveillance) to disprove, so modest amounts get paid out by insurers simply to get people to go away.  In addition to genuine claims, exaggerated and completely fraudulent personal injury claims are being made on a large scale and as a result of “crash for cash” claims there are post code areas where insurance risk ratings (and therefore premiums for motorists) have gone sky high if you live there.

We probably all know someone, maybe several people, who have made a personal injury claim and we might well know someone who has exaggerated a claim or in some other way guilded the lily to extract more from it than otherwise – i.e. to have been fraudulent.  Many of us don’t regard it as fraud these days to try to get everything you can from an accident if the opportunity to work the system arises.

There is of course a downside.  I met a woman of 23 who had a perfectly healthy neck but was in process of making her third opportunistic whiplash claim and wasn’t clever enough to realise that accumulating that sort of track record could have a downside for her future employment prospects or for the emigration medical examination she was undergoing.

The cost of inflated and exaggerated claims to motoring insurance companies is very high and these costs are, of course, being passed on to motorists, including to motorcyclists in the premiums we pay.  It’s big business for solicitors and for the many claims handling companies which have formed to exploit the opportunity – and all the people who operate on the periphery, from doctors doing medical reports to taxi drivers carrying the victims to and from the various assessments and meetings which the claim process requires.

And among this huge volume of claims are of course plenty of perfectly genuine ones; claims which aren’t being inflated or exaggerated – how do they fare in the current system?  Does justice prevail?  Are personal injury claims the no-lose option they appear to be these days?  Or is there a real personal downside to making personal injury claims, even genuine ones, such as marking yourself out to travel insurers and employers as a bad prospect? continues………

What all Wingers should know about motorcycle insurance

Refreshingly simple - or not really different at all?

Motorcycle insurance is getting more complicated – and if we’re touring abroad we need travel insurance which covers motorcycling, which most don’t, and there’s also breakdown cover, which although bundled with some bike policies, mostly requires arranging separately.

So I thought it might be useful to provide some general information about motorcycle insurance and its pitfalls which might be useful when it comes time to renew your policy.  I’ll cover travel and breakdown cover separately; this article deals with “normal” road insurance.  This article doesn’t cover insurance for classic bikes either, i.e. those which are primarily a collectible possession and are not in regular use, for which special policies are available.

There are big changes afoot for GoldWing insurance which I hope to be able to report on shortly but in the meantime this article aims to provides the sort of information every Winger should be aware of when buying motorcycle insurance.

Motor insurance costs and premiums are rising steeply at the moment, mainly because of continues………