INSURANCE MAT­TERS

It pays to in­sure your first Porsche with a spe­cial­ist insurance com­pany

911 Porsche World - - Contents -

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

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