Insuring a Kit Car
What to look out for when insuring your Kit Car.
Those new to the world of ‘Kits’ are often taken aback when they start to get insurance quotes, you see there’s normally a pleasant surprise in store; Insuring a specialist car is in the majority of cases costs far far less than an everyday driver. I suppose the clue is in that word – ‘everyday driver’, insurance companies and their actuaries aren’t in the habit of giving something for nothing, they know that Specialist Cars are cared for, are well maintained and unlikely to be driven in poor situations ( City Centres ) or indeed poor conditions.
The thing is that I often hear ‘newbies’ to the world of Kits exclaim proudly that they’ve managed to get their car insured for a sum that has pleasantly surprised them, but one that has made me wince. You see there’s still a huge difference between the niche underwriters and brokers and those that are more mainstream but who would ‘take on’ a kit car. What’s also surprising is that some of the larger specialists who advertise in the big glossies can often come up with quotes that are more than 100% dearer; I know i’ve got the T-Shirt on that one!
So here’s a little advice to those that are thinking of buying a Kit or indeed those that are relatively new to the ‘scene’. Have a trawl through forums like ours over at SKCC and you’ll find a few names crop up time and time again. The likes of Adrian Flux, Sureterm, 2Gether, A-Plan and Frank Pickles…Now here’s the thing. These are brokers, so it follows that any offer that they make to you is based upon a Plan/scheme that is made available to them from an underwriter, guess what? Many of the schemes are underwritten by the same few companies ! So don’t be concerned about whether the broker operates out of a tin shed, or whether they don’t advertise in mainstream magazines – just be concerned with ( and ask ) who the underwriter is! When all said and done if you have the misfortune to need to claim, it is the underwriter and no the broker that will deal with the whole process.
So top tips: Don’t be blown away by quotes just because they’re 50% less than your normal car; the average cost across the members in SKCC is approx £140-150, with some paying as little as £110! Next. Enquire if there’s a possibility to have an ‘Agreed Value’, this is a simple process, normally it involves the owner submitting some photo evidence of the car and then the underwriters will agree an AV for 1-2-3 years; Meaning, if the car is a total loss during that period that is what the value of the payout will be, no arguments, no discussions about comparable vehicles. It can be worth having ( sadly i know first hand) and it can save a lot of worrying if the bad fairy visits you!
Ask on forums for recommendations, or do a search through club forums and sift through insurance related comments. One thing that i’ve noted over the years is that the market can be a little cyclical, where one broker can offer a tremendous price / service for a year or two and then seemingly lose interest ( yep had that with a couple of brokers who price wise were ok but come renewal were less than helpful). I see and hear many talk about whether they need to or should use their No Claims Discount. This is very much a personal choice, some underwriters will accept a NCD, but I really can’t see the benefit, there is generally no year on year discount – the rates are way too low and the schemes are not set up like that. To me, it makes more sense NOT to use your NCD! Do be aware that in most cases cancelling a Policy will not generate a rebate/refund, there is no real ‘fat’ in these schemes, so don’t be surprised if you want to cancel only to be told that there’s no cash winging its way back to you!
These days A-Plan gets my business and I know that over the past year a massive proportion of the Southern Kit Car Members have moved across; Based on service and cost. Chris, Claire and Zoe lead the Specialist Division of this Broker and can be contacted on 01635 874646. Based on the number of SKCC Members now insuring with them they are even kind enough to allow us a discount, so it’s worth mentioning that at the beginning of the call! For a comparable quote, then give Frank Pickles a try 01943850999.