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Discussion Starter #1
Has anyone had probs getting Insurance??

:( I wondered if any one has had problems with insurance companies? We were shopping around for insurance for our soon to be delivered MINI Cooper with a Chili pack. Two different companies refused to insure a MINI with a Chili pack because of the 'sports suspension plus'. We got cover with MINI cover anyway in the end....just wondered if anyone had the same probs.:D :D :D
 

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Yup!

I had loads of problems as I am getting the John Cooper Works Conversion from new. A couple of companies went through the whole process of getting information only to tell me that they wouldn't insure a modified car. In one case I told a broker up-front all about the conversion and they said they would have to do some checking if that was the case. They came back with a quote around £470. Only later when I went back to confirm and they went to get a final quote did I have further problems and they quoted £1400!!!

I have since had a couple of quotes from insurance companies all around £570 which is what I was expecting to pay. I think I will go through Performance Direct as they have been the most courteous, and knowledgeable where modifications take place esp. since the JC Works conversion only adds 13-15% more power...

But it has been difficult...

Flowki
 

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Works Insurance

I'd prefer not to recommend so don't ask for me to post - but I'm sure JCW will supply you with details of the company who insure the JCW Club Sports - FYI I paid £640 ish for Club Sport - no questions asked since they know the Works cars JCW etc.
 

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Hmmmmm....

It wasn't Performance Direct then????

Flowki
 

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Bizarre...

That is strange. It was a broker who got Norwich Union to quote for mine at £1400...! Maybe this is a special deal and JCW are funding some of it??? You might want to get that checked out as I can't believe you are getting to race for £640 and I am getting quoted that... I had one accident just over three years ago...

Flowki
 

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Re: Bizarre...

Flowki said:
That is strange. It was a broker who got Norwich Union to quote for mine at £1400...! Maybe this is a special deal and JCW are funding some of it??? You might want to get that checked out as I can't believe you are getting to race for £640 and I am getting quoted that... I had one accident just over three years ago...

Flowki
No it's not funded by JCW - They does include 8 years NCB / No Accidents / Points ever - and I am an old man at 35 yrs!

Thats for road cover - race cover is £600 ish a race / £150ish a hillclimb on top of that

I did have a previous NU policy that included 4 track days per year in the cover for no additional cost which was fab!
 

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Re: Re: Bizarre...

Racer said:



Thats for road cover - race cover is £600 ish a race / £150ish a hillclimb on top of that



Hi Racer, Do my eyes deceive me or are my cataract playing up again.:D :D :D :D
 

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Re: Re: Re: Bizarre...

dinger said:




Hi Racer, Do my eyes deceive me or are my cataract playing up again.:D :D :D :D
Hoping to negotiate - but it's either that or take a chance and don't insure and if you'd seen my driving you probably wouldn't take the chance - :D
 

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The company we have recommended for the JCW Club Sport cars is as follows:

T L Clowes, 01926 439439, contact - John Mundell.

A large percentage of the JC Challenge competitors are using them. Hope this helps.
 

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Chilli Insurance.

Come on Chilli or in fact any owners of non standard pack cars, did you declare it and was it accepted o.k.? Thanks for your time and yes I have already used the search function!
 

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Option packs are NOT modifications

The question of option packs and insurance has been discussed in some detail:-

Try this thread:-

http://www.mini2.com/forum/showthread.php?s=&threadid=3657&highlight=modification+insurance

If your insurer or broker thinks that these packs are modifications then it's time to buy your insurance from someone else.

If you're paranoid about insurance matters (as many are) you may be worried that this advice is inaccurate. You may fear that you'll invalidate your insurance if you don't mention that your car is fitted with the Chili pack. If so, find a supplier that is reputable and knowledgeable about cars AND insurance. Tell them the precise spec, explain that the options are FACTORY OPTIONS for this model, and ask them to confirm in writing that they know the spec of your car and have accepted it. Any decent supplier (direct insurer or agent) should be prepared to do this for you to set your mind at ease.
 

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Chilli Insurance

Well I went back to the insurers telling them it had a chilli factory option pack fitted and.......they mainly came back with increased premiums. 50% loading in most cases. Several brokers said it wouldn't matter but when the insurance companies were called it did! As the original poster said, it is the suspension that is the problem. If I had known there would be another £250 to pay I would have been Chilliless! Be warned all Zurich customers...my best quotes came from them, but they do not allow Chilli!
 

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Re: Chili Insurance

I'm afraid they're talking a load of bull (the insurers - not MiniCooperS)!!

If non-disclosure of factory fitted options (like Chili) means that your insurance may be invalidated then half of the UK is uninsured!

Insurers do not ask "have you got extra options fitted to your car?" They say, "has the car been altered from the maker's specification" or something similar.

As has been mentioned elsewhere, if insurers started rating vehicles according to factory option packs then the group rating system would be of no use at all. Almost every vehicle would require bespoke underwriting.

Unfortunately, lots of insurance staff know little about cars. If you tell them your car has got "non-standard" suspension then they'll gladly charge you more money.

As for brokers needing to ask the insurers, this is just further evidence that they're treating you as a non-standard risk. Brokers transact nearly all of their business electronically via EDI with no reference to the insurers unless a risk won't fit the "standard" question set.
 

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Chili Insurance

Thanks for your help Ricardo. Still didn't like not declaring it so spent another morning on the phone. If you have a good record and lots of no claims try Premium Search in the Yellow Pages. It is another name for Hill House Hammond who are owned by CGNU. They gave us the equivelent no claims we have on another car as an intro bonus AND Chili is acceptable as it is factory fit. Any retro fitting BMW or not is disallowed. Hope this helps, Craig.
N.B. £200 saving against MINI insurance!
 

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Chili Insurance

Thanks for your help Ricardo. Still didn't like not declaring it so spent another morning on the phone. If you have a good record and lots of no claims try Premium Search in the Yellow Pages. It is another name for Hill House Hammond who are owned by CGNU. They gave us the equivelent no claims we have on another car as an intro bonus AND Chili is acceptable as it is factory fit. Any retro fitting BMW or not is disallowed. Hope this helps, Craig.
N.B. £200 saving against MINI insurance!
 

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I too had problems sourcing a quote for a Cooper with Chili Pack, the allegedly "mini friendly" people at Admiral refused a quote despite press coverage that they were offering potential mini owners special deals. When I asked for an explantaion the young person I was dealing with merely rang off...I wrote a letter of complaint but still havent recieved a reply and that was in November.

Eventually sorted insurance very swiftly and cheaply with an alternative company.
 

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Can of worms

This whole thing over the option packs is a bit of a disaster area. I've done some more research today: looking at various insurer's proposal form/statement of fact questions and also speaking to the guy at the ABI who deals with group rating.

It looks as though the correct approach could depend upon the insurer you end up with - the questions and stance on this issue vary considerably. For example, Zurich uses the old Eagle Star approach of very detailed info about changes to the car's spec: there are 4 separate questions and the form asks if the car has been "altered/modified/changed in any way from the manufacturer's standard UK design or specification."

The issue therefore is: are factory optional extras and "packs" part of the MINI standard UK design or specification? Are they just variations in the standard design/spec? It seems crazy to argue that the vehicle is "modified" since that would mean every MINI built between launch date and November 2001 is non-standard!!

Other insurers' questions seem much simpler to answer without feeling uncomfortable about the response. For example, Norwich Union: "Have any changes been made to the maker's specification other than being adapted solely to cater for any physical disability?"

Just to add further to the dilemma, the group rating allocated by Thatcham may or may not take into account options - it depends on what BMW/MINI submitted for testing. For example, if the MINIs examined at Thatcham were fitted with option packs then clearly the allocated group rating takes this into account. If they were unadorned "base" editions, then it does not. The trouble is, the ABI can't tell me one way or the other.

Of course, none of this would matter if simply telling the insurer produced a sensible response. But the chances are the person you speak to won't have the time or inclination to enter into this sort of debate and will just quote you a higher premium or decline altogether.

After some debate today, my employer's approach is as follows: anything that can be specified as a factory option without changing engine performance is NOT regarded as a modification and need not be referred to underwriters. To protect clients who have added options, we will request that they write on the proposal form (or statement of facts) brief details of the spec: e.g. "vehicle is fitted with manufacturer's factory fitted Chili option which includes alloys, Sports Suspension Plus and various other enhancements." Writing this on the form gives the client total protection since detailed information about the car has been disclosed at the outset.

Only a factory option which fundamentally alters the vehicle's appearance (such as a bodykit) will require referral for rating - I'm not sure if this is a factory option anyway.

Whether or not you can achieve the same result over the phone/internet with direct insurers/telebrokers remains to be seen. Using intermediaries can be useful as they act as a buffer between you and the insurer and can take the blame if they misadvise you. They must be adequately insured against errors and ommission and wrongful advice.

Pick an insurer or agent who is a member of GISC and put your instructions/comments in writing, or ask them to write to you to confirm everything.
 

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Good experience (so far)

Hi all

I have run into exactly the problems you describe and as Ricardo says, it seems to vary widely depending upon the company. Some refused to even quote, others quoted high and one company spent a good deal of effort in winning my business.

That company was What Car? Insurance (Royal Sun Alliance) - who incidentally have been recommended to me by many friends. Their policy on this seems to be, "if the modifications happen before you buy the car (from new) then they are standard options". This includes, in my case, the John Cooper Works Conversion since I am buying the car with that spec. from new. They referred the quote and came back with a very competitive offer - where other insurers had priced themselves (deliberately?) out of the market.

If you buy a car, and then afterwards go and change some things then you would be in trouble and should inform your insurer in writing.

In terms of guarding my back wrt the new car, I have written down a full specification of the car including all details of the conversion and asked that this be confirmed back in writing to me, and written into the policy.

I will let you know if I have any more problems, but so far that company have been very helpful.

Flowki
 

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Got to say that I agree with the statement about anything being fitted at the factory being classed as part of the standard spec.

I have had a TT and a Boxter from new (still got the TT), both with numerous (factory fitted) options like different wheels, CD players, etc. and have never even thought to specify the mods on the insurance proposal. The price of the car I quote to the insurers (i.e. price including all options) should be enough, and since none of the changes are making dramatic performance differences, like increased BHP and all are fitted and tested by the manufacturer of the vehicle (and are presumably tested against the relevant EU standards) what is the problem?

Ricardo is right in saying that if every factory fitted option has to be specified on the insurance proposal then half the UK are driving without insurance, my Dad's Polo has a CD player and alloy wheels which theoretically makes it more theft-prone but I don't think he will have specifically notified his insurers of this deviation from the base spec. The biggest mistake BMW/Mini seem to have made is calling the collection of mods a 'pack'. Personally I want Chilli without SSP, but I might end up ordering each Chilli option individually to avoid any hassles!
 
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