It pays to insure your first Porsche with a specialist insurance company
Thebluelights began flashing. I’d gone past at a steady 70, but for a few miles the Jam Sandwich unwaveringly tracked my every move. Then, just before the M4’s Membury Services, the lights came on. A lone rozzer gesticulated vigorously as shecame alongside that I should follow her onto the slip-road, and we turned off into thesmall policebarracks hidden in thewoods. “Our databaseshows that your car is not insured,” she explained. I assured her that it was, and the renewal should havegonethrough theday before. Nope, it wasn’t logged on their system. I showed her emails between me and my broker to assuage her doubt, but it was not sufficient, and shewrotemea citation, suspended till the Monday – by which time I would bein France– but a swift call to my broker ensured that cover would be confirmed for her benefit. The upshot was that my policy renewal had simply not been recorded by the Police database, though it was not clear what had aroused her interest in the first place. I may be a speeder but I don’t muck about when it comes to official stuff like insurance. The incident of the equestrian imprint, when the rampant horsesat on there ar of Mrs T’s Boxster a couple of years ago, was proof of the efficacy of insurance, because the damage was covered.
So, you have to get insured, and some of the factors that will affect the premium you pay are your age, the number of claim-free years driving experience you have, and the age, makeand typeof your car. If it is your first timewith a Porschethe rearea number reputable firms to seek cover from. I spoke to Emma Airey of RH Insurance, and here’s what shewould belooking for: ‘themain thing we’re interested in, irrespective of age, is the vehicle being used as your second or third car; that’s the key criteria for us, really. We’re not interested in modern Porsches that are used as everyday cars, we like them to be cherished, used relatively occasionally, and if they can cover under 5000 miles a year and be kept garaged, or at the very least on the driveway, but not the road, so much the better.’ They don’t just deal with classic Porsches rather than modern ones: ‘it could be a modern-day Cayman or current 911, it’s theusageof thecar that’s more important. So, if somebody was planning to commute to work in their Porsche every singleday wewould not insurethat on its own. If they already have a special Porsche, irrespective of age, and it’s being used gently as a classic, kept garaged, under 5000 miles a year, and then they buy
another Porsche to go to work in every day, then we could look to offer a normal modern private car rate for that vehicle as well. But for us, the lead vehicle on RH’S account needs to be something that’s treated as specialist use.’ So, what about a modified car? ‘Modifications don’t tend to worry us greatly,’ says Emma; ‘the only thing we won’t cover is nitrous oxide. So, as long as performance matches safety, we’re happy.’ As for track days, they normally look to accommodate cover for those on a case by case basis: ‘we don’t give a blanket “yes”, unless it’s a particular club scheme, so we would consider track day cover on a request basis.’
As for quotes, they’d take into account the client’s age, occupation, annual mileage, whether it’s a second car, if it’s garaged overnight and, ideally, a clean licence (gulp!). Emma also pointed out that, ‘RH doesn’t charge any broker administration fees, whereas all of our competitors routinely charge between £15 and £40, so when renewing policies, midterm adjustments, or taking out new business with RH, there are no such charges, and we also include Ukand European breakdown cover, including home assistance, at no extra cost. The only optional extra we have is legal protection, which is £10.50, and whether you have one car or 50, if you’ve paid your £10.50 it covers your whole fleet of cars.’ Sounds good to me.
Next, I talked to Darren Ansell at Classic Line Insurance, and he had this to say: ‘these are the main criteria that we work with: let’s say that it’s kept in a garage at home, the guy is 40, it’s a low-risk postcode – or rural postcode, rather than a town postcode; no points or convictions, and you only want to do 3000 miles a year, and there’s going to be lots of other assumptions made. But we do have a Porsche scheme, and our preferred partners are TIPEC and, historically, we work very closely with Porsche Club GB and we cover Porsche Club GB policyholders as well.’ Classic Line have no issues with modifications, though like RH, ‘the only thing I can’t cover is NOS,’ says Darren; ‘anything else is fine. Nitrous oxide, because of what it is and how it affects the car, means you’re also carrying compressed flammable gas; we know petrol is flammable, obviously, and God forbid if anyone LPG’D one, but Nitrous is really the main exception.’
Carole Nash’s rep Jo Parkinson had this advice: ‘you should only pay for the cover you really need; for instance, depending on your car’s value, there may be little point in having comprehensive cover on something bargain basement, so check the differences between Third party, Fire and Theft, and Comprehensive, as it might not be financially sensible to pay the difference. Additional security features all add up, such as having a Tracker or aftermarket alarm and immobiliser systems, and of course whether your car is kept in a locked garage. If you have more than one car policy with the same company you should be eligible for a discount. Consider the engine size when buying the car; for instance, a 2.7-litre Boxster could be cheaper to get cover for than a 3.2 or 3.4 model. Add a driver to your policy, because it can be the case that the spouse or partner rate is lower than for the insured person only, and if there are two or more cars in the family get them both on cover with the same insurer, as there are now significant second car discounts. It’s always worth phoning your broker, rather than simply buying insurance on-line, as you should be able to get a better quote.’
So, I do just that. Charlie Roughton of Adrian Flux provides the reality check: here are a couple of quotes he’s put together for a pair of virgin Porsche owners, one male, the other female. Firstly, let’s assume it’s a woman aged 35, three penalty points, lives Bruton, Somerset, buying a 981 Boxster S, value £30Kthat’ s done 40,000 miles, car kept in home driveway, used daily to go to her office (I’m making this up as I go along, but it’s not that far-fetched) and intends to use it for the occasional track day. Let’s say the car’s also been fitted with a sports exhaust system, so: Comp cover for the year: £445/£350 Accidental Damage, Fire & Theft Excess, Free Legal Aid, Modification Cover, Like for Like, Windscreen, Audio, Courtesy Car. And for the bloke? Aged 45, clean licence, lives in Bristol suburbs, bought a 996 C4S, similar value, £30K. Car has had ECU upgrade. Kept in lock-up garage overnight: Comp Cover: £395/£400 Accidental Damage, Fire & Theft, Free Legal Aid, Modification Cover, Like for Like, Windscreen, Audio, Courtesy Car cover.
What this makes me think is that, when renewal time comes around, I shall be looking to take my business somewhere other than my current provider, as they are by some margin dearer than the prices quoted above (though my personal public liability insurance with the same firm covering trackside situations is relatively cheap). It’s astonishing how much premiums vary: one former provider of mine increased by degrees from £450 to £850 and then to £1500, at which point I jumped ship. It was probably down to one or two speeding tickets and having made one or two claims – like when I hit an errant muntjac that launched itself across the busy A14 and had to get the front end of a 964 repaired, and then when a vicar’s wife blundered into the rear end in an oafish parking manoeuvre. And then the horse thing; well, that was down to its owner’s policy, though maybe there was a tit-for-tat. Looking at car insurance in general, the most recent consumer price index indicates a decrease of 13.8 per cent in motor insurance premiums between April 2017 and April 2018, but these reductions pale in significance in the light of an eye-watering 70 per cent hike in premiums over the previous three years, from September 2013 to September 2016.
Car insurance is one of those vehicular inconveniences that, like tax – if not MOT – is something you tend to take for granted; the renewal date comes around and you stump up, maybe in instalments. But a brief chat with these providers who advertise on these pages makes one thing clear: you’d better shop around! PW
We’re not interested in modern Porsches, used asevery days cars