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Insurance Warning


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When I was arranging the changeover from my BMW X2 to my UX I called Direct Line to confirm the details and to transfer the insurance. It seemed to go very well but because I have private plates they had to input the car details manually. The details were fine apart from when the person asked me to confirm the power output as being 107ps. I said it’s more like 184 and this is clearly wrong, he then said that the details are set by the insurance underwriter and can’t be changed. He contacted someone and phoned me back and said unfortunately Direct Line can’t Insure me because my car is more powerful than what they have on their database. Meanwhile I had been looking up Wikipedia and found that the 107ps is the power output of the electric motor only. He agreed with me that the database is wrong but that he could not Insure my car because the power output details were incorrect when compared to what they have. I’m now with AXA who had all the correct details, but it’s an easy thing to complete an online insurance quote and miss the power output detail. If someone does this their insurance would be invalidated and claims would not be covered. So if any of you are with Direct Line and have a UX my advice would be to immediately call them and change your insurance

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That's...truly Kafkaesque. Well done for catching it, and if Direct Line can't get their **** together then they deserve to lose your custom. 30 seconds of internet searching could corroborate the details and the right person could correct their database in moments.

Nick

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48 minutes ago, DF-300 Sport said:

I don't have a UX....and not a lawyer either....But surely if it's their database which is wrong all claims would need to be honoured?

You would think so, but no. The ultimate responsibility rests with the driver to make sure all details are correct.

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11 minutes ago, Herbie said:

You would think so, but no. The ultimate responsibility rests with the driver to make sure all details are correct.

Surely that would only be if the details on the policy are correct? On mine it just says the engine size, doesn't say anything about power.

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23 minutes ago, m4rkw said:

Surely that would only be if the details on the policy are correct? On mine it just says the engine size, doesn't say anything about power.

I've just looked at mine and no mention whatsoever about power at all, just engine size. I don't recall ever being asked about the power of any car in more than 40 years of driving.

I agree that if they don't ask you a specific question then you can't possibly (or shouldn't) be held responsible for an incorrect answer to a question that was never asked.

I do know that comparison services like GoCompare or Confused.com always make it clear that they offer policies by making certain assumptions and it's definitely the responsibility of the proposer to make sure those assumptions are correct or to correct them before going ahead with the purchase.

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Yeah I think if they tried to argue their database was wrong but hadn't ever told you or made the information available on any documentation your case against them would be a slam dunk at the small claims court. 

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3 hours ago, DF-300 Sport said:

I don't have a UX....and not a lawyer either....But surely if it's their database which is wrong all claims would need to be honoured?

When I had that discussion the person advised me that it was the responsibility of the policy holder to ensure the stated details are correct. So if it states the power as being 107ps then that’s all it must have plus or minus 5. Not everyone is diligent enough as to read such detail, I would prefer not to be in a position of having a disputed claim should I be involved in some kind of accident. The advisor simply kept saying DL could not Insure the vehicle because I stated the correct power (even although they are wrong). 

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Cheers guys, Certainly a useful debate here and will hopefully help everyone to be more aware of this issue, especially with the grey area of hybrid electric and petrol/ diesel power output complications which need to be clarified so we can understand the terminology. It seems to be very convenient that the insurer delegates responsibility to the policyholder, regardless of the circumstances.

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On 1/18/2022 at 10:40 AM, Hamish2015 said:

 If someone does this their insurance would be invalidated and claims would not be covered. 

That wouldn't be the case, because their database is their responsibility and not yours - what they ask you in online quote is simply to answer the question to best of you knowledge truthfully. Nobody even asks about power output, so you could never answer this question wrong.

You are right in saying that it is your responsibility to ensure that details you have provided are correct in the best of your knowledge. But again - no questionnaire ever asks what is power output (at least none that I have seen), so you could never get this wrong. Such details are usually pulled from DVLA database automatically and if insurance made mistake in mapping the details to their database then it is their problem.

That said you probably better off - AXA is definitely better company (as much as insurance companies can be) than Direct Line.

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1 hour ago, DF-300 Sport said:

It seems to be very convenient that the insurer delegates responsibility to the policyholder, regardless of the circumstances.

I'm not sure that is wholly the case. There have been many cases where the insurer has been liable for simply taking on the risk. The level of cover may default to 3rd party in the worst case scenario but without an intent to deceive and on the balance of probabilities no normal consumer would have a clue about their cars BHP. 

This sounds like a one off technical issue with a database and a private plate and I really wouldn't worry about it. 

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I would think that, unless the car's been modified, it wouldn't even crop up as an issue in any potential claim. Even if it did I imagine it would be the insurers responsibility for having an incorrect database.

Anyway, out of curiosity, I thought I'd check my Direct Line policy as I don't remember any questions about power output. It does have a section for engine details (which I assume was autocompleted from their database), which states the correct engine size and bhp for the ICE, and then adds Hybrid Electric, with no reference to combined output, or that of the electric motors.

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