Article date: 1 June 2005
Norwich Union is launching a drive to help its customers andother motorists to better understand important changes to theirmotor insurance policies, and ensure that any changes in theirpersonal circumstances are shared with their insurer to keep theirmotor cover up to date.
Whether purchasing insurance direct or through a broker,motorists need to let their insurer or agent know when theirsituation changes. Failure to do so could result in voiding theinsurance policy. Examples of changes that motorists need tocommunicate are:
- Change of address: many motorists forget that a change ofaddress can affect their motor premium. This is especially true ifthe car will be parked on the street at the new address. If, forexample, the car was previously kept in a garage, but is nowparked on the street, failure to let the insurer or broker know ofthis change could result in loss of cover should the car be brokeninto while parked at home.
- Change of circumstance: driving convictions and penalties,changes in the motorist’s health or occupation are allexamples of changes that can affect a driver’s premium. Forexample, if the driver has retired, and won’t be making a100 mile round-trip commute each day during rush hour, there is agood chance he/she could see a reduction in their premium. Failureto notify the insurer/broker of these changes, especially drivingconvictions (including pending prosecutions) can result in loss ofcover.
- Sale/purchase of car: motorists need to make sure to cancelinsurance on any vehicle they sell – this does not happen"automatically". Likewise, it is important for motoristspurchasing a new car to arrange for cover beginning the day theydrive the vehicle off the forecourt. "Driving other cars" cover,where available, does not cover any vehicle the motorist actuallybuys or is buying under a hire purchase agreement. This isparticularly an issue when buying a previously taxed vehicleprivately or at auctions, when it is tempting to drive the vehiclehome without making insurance arrangements.
- Registration number: make certain the registration number ofthe vehicle you are insuring is correct – this is a criticallink to all of the car’s details and will serve to identifyyour car as insured by police.
Insurers provide vehicle information of the insured to the MotorInsurers Database (MID). By keeping this database up to date,insurers are able to work with the police in helping to identifythose motorists driving without insurance. There are more than onemillion uninsured drivers in the UK - about 1 in 20 UK drivers.Accidents involving them cost responsible insured motorists anestimated additional 30 pounds each year on their insurancepremiums – a burden to the industry worth around 550 millionpounds per year.
Changes to Norwich Union Motor Policy
Norwich Union is alerting its customers through a variety ofchannels about changes it is making to its insurance policy. It isimportant that drivers understand what their insurance policycovers them for. Letters and customer booklets have already beendistributed to customers, and changes are also highlighted onNorwich Union’s website. Key changes that customers should beaware of include:
- Driving other cars: Norwich Union has reviewed the cover thatit provides to customers driving a vehicle not owned by or hiredto the insured. Driving other cars cover (where available) is nowonly provided for policyholders with Comprehensive cover who areaged 25 or over. In the future this cover may be removed entirelyfrom policies as the insurance industry continues to work with thegovernment to reduce the problem of uninsured motorists. Manypolicyholders believe the Driving other Cars cover is wider thanit actually is, leading to them unintentionally driving withoutinsurance and of course in some cases be prosecuted for doing so.It is widely believed that removal of this cover will remove theconfusion that surrounds this cover.
- Courtesy Car: customers should double check their policy tocheck the level of cover requested – some are assuming theyhave a courtesy car, when they haven’t requested one ontheir policy.
Jim Noakes, director of distribution and service development atNorwich Union, says: "It is tremendously important for motorists,police and insurers that the Motor Insurers Database is kept up todate. Motorists can play an important role in reducing the cost ofuninsured drivers by making sure their details are fully up to datewith their insurer or broker – thereby helping them reducethe burden that uninsured motorists place on their own premiumevery year.
"Additionally, motorists need to make certain that theirinsurance cover is the right level for them. By betterunderstanding their policy, they will be able to make sure theywon’t get caught without adequate cover."
Further information is available by calling Erik Nelson atNorwich Union on 01603 682264.
About Norwich Union Insurance
Norwich Union is the UK's largest insurer with amarket share of around 13 per cent.
With a focus on insurance for individuals andsmall businesses, Norwich Union insures:
- one in five households
- one in seven motor vehicles
- more than 800,000 businesses
Norwich Union products are available through avariety of distribution channels including brokers, corporatepartners such as banks and building societies and Norwich UnionDirect.
Norwich Union's news releases and a selection ofimages are available on the Aviva internet press centre atwww.aviva.com/media.
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Norwich Union Insurance Limited Registered inEngland No 99122. Registered office: 8 Surrey Street, Norwich, NR13NG
Authorised and regulated by the FinancialServices Authority
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