Getting insurance if you're under 25 is already enough of a headache, but recent reports of Footman James now refusing to take on such drivers on their classic car policies is affecting 2CVGB members. So what's up with that?! We find out....
There's been a lot of talk on the classic car forums recently about this subject. It's not just 2CVers that are affected - seems the Mini and VW owners are similarly annoyed by the news. So what's going on behind the scenes to have prompted this move by the insurance companies?
Since Footman James are one of the companies now employing this policy, and regularly advertise in 2CVGB News, offering our members discounted rates, Nikki, our Chairman, has been in contact with them to find out what's going on. She writes:
"I was concerned about this sudden change so I gave my contact there a ring. He is well aware of the problem as this has also affected all young drivers of classic cars insured with them, not just our members. (Mini Owners Club also making lots of noise about this apparently!)
Apparently it has been caused by one of their Underwriters, who previously were the ones that insured their younger drivers. Basically this company has been pushing up its rates astronomically in the last few months (especially for younger drivers - up to 4 times the previous price in some cases!) so Footman James have decided not to use them any more. Unfortunately this leaves them with a bit of a problem as their other Underwriter won't touch any drivers under 21 and will only insure drivers aged 21-25 in particular circumstances (apparently only if the car is garaged, if the driver has access to an additional vehicle and with restricted mileage clauses, etc.) .I didn't ask whether it was also only in months with a 'Y' in as well.... :-)
Anyway, this all happened in December, hence members suddenly starting to make a noise about this. They (FJ) are not happy with the situation either as they realise it could cost them a lot of business, and are trying to find another underwriter who will take younger drivers at a sensible price. I have told him to come back to me if/when they have any news.
So... not ideal but at least we know why.
Incidentally, does anyone know whether Lancaster are also refusing younger drivers too? Or is it just the premiums that have gone up a lot? It could be that the underwriter in question was the only one insuring younger drivers, and therefore the other brokers who use them have had to put their quotes up massively accordingly."
So there you have it, from the horse's mouth. Hopefully they will soon be able to provide affordable cover. Watch this space!
We are aware that the Morris Minors' owners club has secured a deal whereby their younger members can get classic cover - we're trying to find out how they did it and see if we can negotiate the same for our members, but perhaps don't hold your breath...