SCRAP THREAT FOR DAMAGED CLASSIC CARS
Insurance shake-up means older vehicles involved in crashes could be forced off the road – here’s how to protect your car
Classic owners could be forced to have their cars scrapped when overhauled insurance write-off categories come into effect.
A clause exempting some, but not all historic vehicles has been incorporated into the Association of British Insurers’ new Code of Practice, but the Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs is encouraging owners to check the details of their policies.
Communications director, Geoff Lancaster, says: ‘Once an engineer has allocated a category to a damaged vehicle, the code makes the consequences, which can include scrapping, effectively automatic.’
Insurance write-off categories will change in October 2017 in a bid to keep dangerous crash-damaged cars off the road.
The Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs (FBHVC) is urging owners of classic vehicles to make sure that their insurance policy stipulates that if their vehicle is damaged, the vehicle will fall outside the remit of the new Code of Practice.
These new categories will replace existing A,B, C and D classes with A,B, S and N to reflect the complexity of vehicles - which can make it harder for damaged cars to be safely repaired.
The Association of British Insurers (ABI), which co-ordinates the codes, says that they are changing so there is a greater focus on the condition of the vehicle, rather than the repair costs. It’s hoped this will put an end to scrap cars being put back on the road.
Geoff Lancaster, communications director of the FBHVC, says: ‘The new write off categories form part of a new Code of Practice which has been drafted over a significant period of time.
‘Once an inspecting engineer has allocated a category to a damaged vehicle, the code makes the consequences, which can include scrapping the vehicle, effectively automatic. ‘The Federation was unhappy about the importance placed on the cost of repairs in the decision of the category to be allocated and considered that for historic vehicles and indeed other specially cherished vehicles this criterion would often be inappropriate. In these cases the owner might wish to effect repair regardless of cost. The participants in the code accepted this, subject only to considerations of safety and health.’ Accordingly, the following paragraph appears in the Code of Practice thanks to the FBHVC: ‘It is recognised that some historic/ classic vehicles or vehicles of special interest may be repaired irrespective of extent of damage, providing it is safe to do so. In these cases the vehicle will fall outside the Code of Practice, which will not apply.’
Hagerty International marketing director, Marcus Atkinson, says: ‘The key word in this new ruling is “some”. It might be that if a car worth £4k costs £6k to repair then it’ll be worth it in the eyes of the owner, but if that car is insured with a mainstream insurer it’ll be checked by a mainstream expert, and then you could be in trouble.
‘ We have our own network of experts and insurers and could arrange for parts to be fabricated if necessary. We think it’s a move that supports the classic industry.’
Damage this extensive could see a classic being scrapped automatically.