An unexpected problem with UK car insurance...

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white exec
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An unexpected problem with UK car insurance...

Post by white exec »

In a couple of weeks' time, we will be moving house permanently to the UK, after 18 years in southern Spain. We have already bought a house in Shropshire, so will have a permanent UK address.

We'll be bringing with us our two Citroens (XM and BX) and will be putting these on UK plates fairly quickly. At that point, we'll need to insure them with UK-issued policies, and this is where we've hit a problem...

It seems that most UK insurers have a 'residency' requirement, that you need to have resided in the UK for three years before they will accept you for cover purposes. This applies to anyone who has lived outside of the UK for a significant period of time.

So far, I haven't been able to find any of the major UK companies who do not have this requirement, and none of them seem able to explain why the requirement is there - other than it is a requirement of their underwriters. The fact that we spent around 56 years previously living/working/residing/driving (pretty much accident-free) in the UK, and have a long claim-free history, doesn't seem to count.

Am now having to look at some specialist brokers who can quote for us as "non-residents" needing car cover. This could turn out to be seriously expensive, I'm guessing.

If anyone has any experience of this, or a workaround, I'd be grateful for any advice. Wasn't something I was in the least expecting!
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Re: An unexpected problem with UK car insurance...

Post by myglaren »

Could you have an existing UK resident insure the cars with you and yours as named drivers?
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Re: An unexpected problem with UK car insurance...

Post by mickthemaverick »

The only thing that comes to mind for me Chris would be to get a residency qualifying friend or relation to insure the cars with you as named drivers. After the three years you could then transfer them back to your own names but probably start the no claims ladder again!! I hate to say it but this looks like it may be a horrendous can of worms but obviously you need to find a solution fairly sharpish! :)
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Re: An unexpected problem with UK car insurance...

Post by mickthemaverick »

Initial check with the broker I use for the classic car led me to this: :)

https://www.cityinsurance.co.uk/expat-car-insurance.php
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Re: An unexpected problem with UK car insurance...

Post by NewcastleFalcon »

white exec wrote:
11 Feb 2022, 22:44

Am now having to look at some specialist brokers who can quote for us as "non-residents" needing car cover. This could turn out to be seriously expensive, I'm guessing.
Presumably brokers like this lot a few crop up on a query "Returning Ex-Pat Car insurance"
https://www.cityinsurance.co.uk/expat-car-insurance.php
https://www.keithmichaels.co.uk/expat-c ... to-the-uk/
https://www.completecovergroup.com/prod ... reign-ncb/

Regards Neil
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Re: An unexpected problem with UK car insurance...

Post by xantia_v6 »

I suspect that the insurance companies are protecting themselves against insuring UK cars that are moved to Europe and never registered or insured in the destination country. I had a neighbour in France who had been resident in France for several years, but drove his UK registered car back to the UK once a year to get an MOT for his car (I think that UK insurance was cheaper then compared to French).

As both of your cars are more than 25 years old, your best bet may be to try one of the brokers specialising in classic car insurance In my experience, a broker can often get cover in circumstances where a direct approach to the same insurance company gets a flat refusal.

If the company providing your house insurance also does car insurance, they may be worth approaching.
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Re: An unexpected problem with UK car insurance...

Post by myglaren »

Makes me wonder what immigrants do to obtain insurance. Surely they don't have to wait three years?
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white exec
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Re: An unexpected problem with UK car insurance...

Post by white exec »

Thanks everyone for those helpful suggestions.
Had not thought about the residency requirement being there to prevent "hop-to-home" MoT/Test acquisition; good bit of that goes on in Spain, not least (it would appear) by Swiss, who seem really reluctant to put their cars on Spanish plates.

Am hoping to speak with a classic car broker (associated with Adrian Flux) this morning, who hopefully might have a solution.

One other Catch-22 was a conversation with LV= yesterday. "Normal policies only available for cars up to 25 years old; we can offer you a classic car policy, though - but only cars older than 35 years qualify." #-o #-o #-o
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Re: An unexpected problem with UK car insurance...

Post by jamescarruthers »

I would say that my experience with Adrian Flux was very poor in the past. In my own experience and also reading over on Autoshite they have good PR but a s**t service and may well just leave you high and dry.

By all means try them but beware.

I moved from one sleepy Cambridgeshire village to the one right next door mid-insurance term and they cancelled my policy as the new address was “uninsurable”. There was no refund due to the T&C basically making it that I cancelled it by moving. They have no principles.
Last edited by jamescarruthers on 12 Feb 2022, 15:15, edited 1 time in total.
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mickthemaverick
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Re: An unexpected problem with UK car insurance...

Post by mickthemaverick »

I tend to agree with James about Adrian Flux. I originally insured my Stag through their classic car scheme but when I decided to take it off the road for rebuild there was still 9 months insurance outstanding and they wouldn't suspend it, refund it or anything of any help at all. Personally I will never go there again!! :evil:
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Re: An unexpected problem with UK car insurance...

Post by Paul-R »

white exec wrote:
12 Feb 2022, 08:46
One other Catch-22 was a conversation with LV= yesterday. "Normal policies only available for cars up to 25 years old; we can offer you a classic car policy, though - but only cars older than 35 years qualify." #-o #-o #-o
??? So what are you supposed to do with your vehicle for the ten years between 25 and 35 if you're with LV=?
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Re: An unexpected problem with UK car insurance...

Post by RichardW »

ISTR AF quoted Zel over 2 grand to insure his Activa...he went somewhere else!!
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Re: An unexpected problem with UK car insurance...

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white exec
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Re: An unexpected problem with UK car insurance...

Post by white exec »

Well, I managed to secure a quote with AF's associate company HIC/Sterling Insurance, for each of the cars. Each came in at £775 - fully comp, agreed values, 10k mi/yr. Price expected to be a little lower when cars get on to UK plates, and we exchange our EU driving licences for UK ones. Cover can be immediate (which we won't need), done on VINs, rather than on new UK reg nos (not yet allocated). That could be useful in limited circumstances. The figure does not include any NCB, which has all been earned outside the UK, and therefore doesn't count.

A whiff of ABI/underwriter suspicion of anyone who has been living on non-UK soil, however British their previous existence. Par for the course now, I guess, not lessened by Brexit.

Getting there, though, so really grateful for the various advice, everyone. :hug1:
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Re: An unexpected problem with UK car insurance...

Post by GiveMeABreak »

The ones I posted seem to accept NCB earned abroad.... but I guess you've committed now.