Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Business & Appointments - - FRONT PAGE -

son is 19 years old and he started col­lege in Septem­ber. He stays in Dublin Mon­day to Fri­day and comes home most week­ends. He would like to be added to our car in­sur­ance, even though he may only use the car two-three times a month, but it would be use­ful to have him in­sured. My in­sur­ance com­pany has told me he can­not be added be­cause he is un­der 25, but all his friends seem to be driv­ing their par­ents’ cars on their par­ents’ poli­cies, so I don’t un­der­stand their rea­son­ing. A lot of th­ese kids are on their pro­vi­sion­als, but he has had a full li­cence since May. The car is noth­ing fancy, a five-year-old Golf 1.4 An­drew, Co Dublin IN­SUR­ERS in gen­eral are sus­pi­cious when par­ents re­quest their young son or daugh­ter to be added to their pol­icy for fear that the young driver is ac­tu­ally the pri­mary user of the ve­hi­cle. It has been the case in the past where par­ents have done this to get a cheaper premium. This move is ill-ad­vised, and the pol­icy will be­come null and void in the event of the claim if the in­surer in­ves­ti­gates and un­cov­ers the true driv­ing sit­u­a­tion.

How­ever, your case is dif­fer­ent – but un­for­tu­nately you are be­ing af­fected by this prac­tice. Cer­tain in­sur­ers have strict rules and will un­der no cir­cum­stances add driv­ers un­der 25 years old – this very much sounds like your com­pany, so you will need to change in­surer.

You will then need to prove to po­ten­tial in­sur­ers that you are the main user of the car and that your son will only use the car on oc­ca­sion. This may take a bit of work, but by tak­ing the fol­low­ing steps you will end up with the best deal. Ask your cur­rent in­surer to con­firm in writ­ing that you have been with them for eight years and have had no claims dur­ing this time. Also ask them for writ­ten con­fir­ma­tion that they have in­sured the Golf since the pur­chase date, and get a copy of the VLC to show you have not just bought this car to­day.

This will help you prove to the po­ten­tial in­sur­ers that the car has not been bought for your son, but has been used by you and you are only chang­ing in­surer now be­cause you need to add your son to the pol­icy. Tak­ing ex­pert ad­vice in a sit­u­a­tion like this will im­prove your chances be­cause a bro­ker will have ex­pe­ri­ence in deal­ing with in­sur­ers and so will be able to present your case in such a man­ner that it ap­pears gen­uine. since spo­ken with the in­sur­ance firm to pay the premium and they are now say­ing they will not re­new our pol­icy be­cause we didn’t re­new be­fore the ex­piry date. I have gone on­line to get quotes but be­cause we had a claim in 2017 for €3,800 and I let this pol­icy ex­pire, no one will quote me. I now feel the le­gal route with my own in­surer is my only op­tion as I have been told they are legally obliged to in­sure me. I re­ally don’t want to have to take le­gal ac­tion, but is there any sim­pler way of hav­ing this rec­ti­fied? Peadar, Co Wex­ford IN re­cent years in­sur­ers have re­ally tight­ened up their rules when it comes to ac­cept­ing home in­sur­ance poli­cies. They are now quite strict in their ap­proach to writ­ing poli­cies and un­for­tu­nately, hav­ing a ‘gap in cover’ is a com­plete red flag to some in­sur­ers – so much so that, as you have ex­pe­ri­enced, they will refuse a pol­icy on this ba­sis. I think you may have been slightly mis­in­formed as to an in­surer’s le­gal obli­ga­tions in this type of sit­u­a­tion.

It is a com­mon myth that your home in­surer must cover you, but there is ac­tu­ally no le­gal re­quire­ment for them to do so.

How­ever, all is not lost. Based on the in­for­ma­tion you have given and the as­sump­tion that there has been no other claims or any­thing out of the or­di­nary, then if you go to an in­surer that doesn’t have strict ‘gap in cover’ rules and also al­low for a claim with the past five years, you should be able to take out a new pol­icy at a rea­son­able premium.

This com­bi­na­tion of in­surer might be tricky to find, and you may well be on­line all day and not find one, but a good bro­ker will get this sorted for you in min­utes. Time is of the essence in your case, so my ad­vice is to im­me­di­ately speak with a bro­ker and you will get cover and the price won’t be as bad as you think.

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