Category Archive: Blog

  1. Car Insurance Jargon Buster (Part 2)

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    Car insurance terminology can be confusing and there can be a lot of detail to take in when it comes to understanding the small print. To help cut through the confusing language and decipher some of those mysterious acronyms we’ve put together a two part car insurance jargon buster.

    In this our second part we look at everything from fault claims to write offs. For A-D please click here for part one.

    Fault Claims: When you make a claim but your insurer cannot recover the cost from the third party. This could be if you are deemed to have caused an accident or for other reasons that aren’t your fault but where there is no other known party involved such as theft or vandalism.

    FCA: The Financial Conduct Authority regulated the car insurance industry as well as other financial services companies.

    Green Card: A document that proves to non EU countries that your insurance provider provides the minimum insurance necessary to drive in the country.

    Insurable Interest: This is the basic requirement of taking out car insurance and refers to the fact you have an interest in the vehicle being insured and would suffer a loss if it were damaged.

    Main Driver: The person who drives the car most of the time as stipulated on the insurance policy.

    MID: The Motor Insurance Database is a record of every insured car in the UK.

    Optional Extras: Also known as Add Ons, these are benefits, such as breakdown cover and replacement vehicles, that can be added to your policy for a fee.

    Policy: This is the main document between you and your insurance provider. It will detail all the terms of your insurance, including the premium and term. Not to be confused with the certificate of insurance, which is required by law.

    Premium: The amount paid to your insurance provider to hold the policy. This can be paid in monthly instalments or in one yearly sum.

    Schedule: This document forms part of the contract between you and your insurer and shows things like your excess and any endorsements you might have.

    SORN: Statutory Off Road Notifications can be obtained from the DVLA are required by law if you plan on not using your vehicle and are keeping it off the public road.

    Third Party, Fire and Theft: Will cover your vehicle for theft and fire as well as damage from third parties only.

    Voluntary Excess: This is the fee you pay to your insurance provider towards the cost of a claim. You can set your own voluntary excess before taking out the policy, with a higher excess usually resulting in a lower premium.

    Write off: If the cost associated with repairing your vehicle is more than your insurance company deems the vehicle to be worth then it will be considered a write off.

  2. Car Insurance Jargon Buster (Part 1)

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    To the non-initiated, understanding all the ins and outs of car insurance can seem like learning a whole other language. As well as the array of specific terminology there are a lot of important acronyms that it really pays to understand.

    To help you make sense of this confusing array of terminology we’ve put together this insurance jargon buster. This is part 1, with part 2 to follow in January.

    ABI: The Association of British Insurers is a trade body comprised of 250 leading insurance companies and accounts for over 90% of the UK insurance market.

    Act of God: An event which is not the fault of any individual and is unpredictable such as a lightning or meteor strike. Acts of God may not be covered in your policy and are often separate from extreme weather events like flooding or falling trees.

    Betterment: A payment made by an insured party that recognises the fact that their vehicle will be worth more as the result of repairs relating to an insurance claim.

    Certificate of insurance: This is a document that is required by law and shows the car being insured, who is allowed to use the car and the classes of use (see below).

    Class of Use: A term used by insurance companies to determine what you use your car for and how often. There are three classes of use: Social, domestic and pleasure; Commuting; Business use The class of use you select will often have a big bearing on your insurance premium. It’s very important you are certain what class you fall into as supplying inaccurate information could invalidate your policy.

    Comprehensive cover (or fully comprehensive): This will cover you and your vehicle as well as the vehicles of third parties if you are at fault.

    Compulsory excess: This is a set amount you need to pay to your insurer when making a claim. The level of your compulsory excess will depend on how much of a risk you are judged by the insurer.

    Conviction Code: If you commit a motoring offence the DVLA (see below) will add a four digit conviction code to your licence.

    Cover note: A document that shows you have temporary car insurance while your insurer is preparing your policy documents and certificate of insurance. Some insurance companies don’t issue cover notes and will instead issue you with a certificate on the day you accept the insurance.

    Duty of disclosure: When you take out a car insurance policy you have a duty to inform your insurer of any changes in your circumstances, such as change of address or a modification to your car.

    DOC: Drive Other Cars (DOC) is a type of cover that some insurance policies will include and means you are insured to drive another person’s car, with their permission. This will usually only be third party cover and cannot be for day to day use.

    DVLA: The Driving and Vehicle Licensing Agency is the body responsible for issuing licences and collecting car tax for all drivers in Great Britain.

     

  3. Car Insurance Myths Debunked

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    There are a lot of pervasive myths when it comes to car insurance and car insurance companies. A lot of them are born out of simple misunderstandings that then get exaggerated. Others may only apply to the majority of insurance companies but aren’t a hard and fast rule.

    Below are some common car insurance myths debunked.

     

    • Personal property in my car is covered
      Although your car insurance will cover you for the theft of your vehicle and any damage sustained to it as the result of an accident or a criminal act, any personal property you have in the car is not covered. That’s worth bearing in mind next time you leave your expensive golf clubs in the boot.
    • Courtesy cars are standard on car insurance policies
      Some insurance policies will include a courtesy car as standard but many others will only offer this service as an optional extra, whilst some won’t offer it at all. If you take an insurance policy out with us at DNA we will supply you with a replacement vehicle if the accident wasn’t your fault.
    • I can keep my costs down by becoming a named driver on my parent’s insurance
      Becoming a named driver on someone else’s insurance policy means you cannot be the main driver of that vehicle. This is often done by parents to keep insurance costs down for a son or daughter who has just passed their test and is known as ‘fronting’, which can land you with a large fine and six points on your licence. For a young driver this means a ban.
    • A speeding ticket will automatically cause my premium to rise
      This isn’t always the case and will vary from insurer to insurer. Quite often three points on your licence will have no bearing on your premium, although multiple points may start to see your insurance costs rise.
    • I won’t be able to get car insurance if I have a driving conviction
      Although many insurance companies won’t insure you if you have a conviction for a driving offence like drink driving that doesn’t mean you can’t get insured. At DNA Insurance we offer insurance to drivers with criminal or motoring convictions.

     

    There are a lot more myths concerning car insurance but like so many things in life it pays not to believe everything you hear and take the time do a your own research. You never know, you might be pleasantly surprised.

    If you have a motoring conviction or have been banned from driving in the past, visit our Convicted Driver Insurance page to see how we can help you get back on the road. Alternatively give one of our friendly team a call on 03445 732400.

  4. 82% Increase in Pothole Related Breakdowns

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    Cast your mind back to the winter of 2013 and, as well as the freezing conditions, you may also remember the terrible state that bitterly cold weather left many of our roads in.

    And yet despite two mild winters since, earlier this year, the RAC reported a staggering 82% increase in suspension spring related call-outs. In fact, by February the RAC had attended 7,500 breakdowns of this nature, compared to just 4,000 in 2014 and 5,600 in 2013.

    This type of damage to a car is almost always the result of poor road surfaces and as such related breakdown callouts make for a good measure of road surface quality. Potholes can also wreak havoc not only on your car’s suspension springs but also on shock absorbers and even tyres and wheels.

    Such is the state of the problem that the RAC has teamed up with the pothole reporting site Street Repairs to create a new app to help people report potholes. The app will also allow reporting of other highway problems and uses GPS to send the data back to the RAC, where it is then forwarded onto the relevant local authority. The hope is that potholes will be identified and fixed before they get much worse and start damaging car’s suspension.

    It might be a small gesture but it’s initiatives like this that could help save UK drivers money as potholes continue to be a problem. Clearly the public perception is that the problem isn’t going away either, with RAC research finding 41% of motorists surveyed were worried about the state of the roads.

    So what does the future hold? Well, there’s no doubt that the suspension of modern cars is far better equipped to deal with these unexpected bumps in the road but that may not be enough if potholes get too severe.

    The two factors at play here are weather and funding. With the effects of climate change being linked to more extreme weather events, like flooding and cold snaps, and continuing cuts to council budgets in the immediate future, this problem could get a lot worse before it gets better.

    For more information on adding breakdown cover to your DNA insurance policy, call one of our friendly team today on 08445 732 400.

  5. Boris Johnson Weighs into Uber Debate

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    Links:

    https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/oct/05/boris-johnson-accuses-uber-of-systematically-breaking-the-law

    Currently Uber has 18,000 drivers (or registered partners as Uber likes to refer to them) in London alone. By offering cheaper fares and the ability for customers to effectively hail cabs via GPS and an app, traditional black cab drivers have accused Uber of undermining their business by flouting the law and allowing unlicensed drivers. In May they took to the streets to protest about it, bringing traffic to a standstill in parts of central London.

    Into this debate has weighed Boris Johnson, caught between proponents of Uber, who say it is offering customers reasonable taxi fares in the capital and creating thousands of jobs, and those who say it is destroying the black cab profession and pushing drivers into poverty.

    Transport for London (TfL) are currently in a high court row with Uber over whether its app acts as a meter, something which would make it illegal in the capital, as only licensed cabs are allowed to operate meters. Uber has retaliated, claiming that TfL is just trying to protect black car drivers by curtailing its business.

    TfL has also launched a consultation to consider proposal to force Uber drivers to wait at least 5 minutes before picking up a booked fare (the average time is 3 minutes).

    It’s worth noting at this point that, as well as being Mayor of London, Boris Johnson is also chair of TfL. This clearly puts him between a rock and a hard place, with some accusing him of supporting a black cab ‘cartel’.

    The fine line Johnson is walking can be seen in his Telegraph column, where he starts by defending ‘rampant, frothing, free-market Conservatives’ who ‘hate cartels’, referring to the TfL’s attempts to curb Uber practices and protect London cabbies.

    He goes on, however, to talk passionately about the professional black cab industry, by pointing out the distinction between private hire vehicles and hackney carriages, whose drivers must pass ‘the Knowledge’ before they are allowed to drive. Johnson then goes onto openly accuse Uber’s technology as facilitating law breaking:

    “You only have to consider the habits of many Uber minicabs – not all, but many – to see that this law is systematically broken; and that is because technology makes it so easy for it to be broken.”

    The ability for technological progress to constantly disrupt traditional industry is a historical fact not lost on Johnson. His calls seem to be for a balanced approach, where both parties can coexist; Uber as a convenient and cheap service and black cabs as a highly professionalised institution. Whether this is true intention is another question entirely.

     

  6. The Top Three Causes of a Motor Vehicle Breakdown (and how to Spot them)

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    Whether it’s happened to you or not, breaking down and getting stranded with your vehicle by the side of the road is everyone’s idea of a nightmare. Whilst it is strongly advisable to take out motor breakdown cover, it is possible to spot some problems before they occur.

    We’ve looked at what the experts say (including Which, the AA, the RAC and Green Flag) and summarised four of the top causes of motor vehicle breakdown as well as how to spot them.

    Flat Battery

    The number one culprit of all breakdowns (between 18% and 20% according to the experts), especially in the winter months, is a flat or faulty battery. Flat batteries are more common with vehicles that only take short journeys. This doesn’t allow the battery to properly charge properly, running it down faster. If this is you, then try to take your car for a longer drive every now again if possible. Also make sure the terminals are protected from corrosion with a layer of petroleum jelly or grease every time your car is serviced.

    How to spot: The engine may turn over more slowly and the red battery light on the dashboard may start to flicker.

    Lost Keys

    Although not technically a cause of a mechanical or electrical breakdown, lost keys are responsible, rather embarrassingly, for a huge number of callouts. There’s not really much more to say about this than keep a spare set and try not to lose them if you’re out. Car dealers will be able to order you a replacement set but this can take weeks.

    How to spot: A growing sense of panic, followed by that sinking feeling of knowing you’ve totally screwed up.

    Flat Tyre or Blowout

    The most common culprit for a blowout or flat is under inflating your tyres. This is easily avoidable simply by making sure you change them when necessary and making sure the tyre pressure is correct. Sometimes a flat is unavoidable if you hit debris in the road, so always make sure you carry a spare tyre with you as well as the means of fitting it, no matter how good a condition your tyres are in beforehand.

    How to spot: Sluggish steering and one tyre losing pressure faster than the others could be signs you have a slow puncture.

    Other Culprits

    These three causes of motor vehicle breakdown are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to breakdown. Other major culprits include, faulty starter motors, alternators, distributor caps, spark plugs and fuel problems (using the wrong fuel). Most are avoidable by getting your car in for a regular service and checking things like tyre pressure oil levels yourself.

    For more info on what to do in case of a breakdown, the AA have produced this very useful guide.

    At DNA Insurance, most of our policies come with the option of breakdown cover. Call one of our team for more details on 08445 732 400.

  7. What Optional Extras can I include with Motor Trade Insurance (and are they worth it)?

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    Motor trade insurance is essential to anyone working in the motor trade. This can include owners of bodyshops, garages, dealerships, car lots and even car valeting services. If you alter, maintain, inspect, test, repair, clean or service any kind of motor vehicle then you will need to take out motor trade insurance.

    There are various types of motor trade insurance cover, which range from third party only to a combined motor trade insurance policy. Each policy will come with optional extras as well, which you will be able to pick and choose from.

    Below is a brief guide to each.

    Employers Liability Cover

    Because individuals working in the motor trade tend to drive or work on a number of vehicles, motor trade insurance actually insures the motor trader him or herself, instead of just the vehicles in question. Employer’s liability extends this cover to indemnify the motor trader in the event of an employee sustaining an injury whilst at work.

    Public Liability Extension

    Public liability cover means that the motor trader is covered in the event a member of the public suffers injury as a result of any activity related to their work. This is very important to have if the nature of the motor trade business in question involves a lot of contact with the public (which most do).

    Combined Policy

    Combined policies are really the ultimate type of cover and peace of mind if you run your business from a dedicated site, even if that site is your home or you only work part time. Combined policies will cover your entire business, including the premises, money, liabilities, tools, vehicles and all contents located at or associated with your business.

    Protected No Claims Bonus

    This option will allow you to protect your no claims bonus in much the same way you might do with regular motor insurance.

    Excess Buyback

    You are also given the option to reduce the excess paid in the case of a claim. This will increase your premium to some degree, depending on how much you wish to reduce the excess.

    Windscreen

    This will cover the windscreen repair of your personal car, whilst at work.

    Breakdown

    This will cover your own vehicle for roadside assistance and home start. European cover is also an option.

    Gadget Insurance

    This optional bolt on will cover your personal vehicle for any gadgets you have installed such as car stereos, for up to £1000.

    For more information on motor trade insurance and the optional extras available to you, call one of our dedicated and friendly team for a chat today on 08445 732 400.

  8. Choosing the right kind of Motor Trade Insurance for your Business

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    If you’re thinking of going into the motor trade business it’s important to understand your insurance options. Motor trade insurance fundamentally differs from private motor insurance in that it is specially tailored to cover the driver and not the vehicle as well. This is an extremely important distinction as it insures a motor trader to drive and work on multiple vehicles.

    There are several types of motor trade insurance available and these can be broken down into three groups:

    Roadrisk Only: The main type of insurance a motor trader must take out. Roadrisk covers the driver only and comes in three options, much like regular motor insurance policies:

    Third Party
    The minimum level of cover for anyone operating repairing, servicing, valeting, cleaning, driving or buying or selling vehicles for profit. Third party will cover repairs to a third party’s vehicle in the result of damage sustained.

    Third Party, Fire and Theft
    As above but will cover the vehicle in the extent of a fire or a theft

    Comprehensive
    As above but will cover the motor trader’s vehicle for any accidental damage sustained.

    Motor Trade Liability Insurance:

    One of the limitations of a roadrisk only policy is that it will not protect you if an individual is injured as a result of negligent actions. For this you need either public liability or employers’ liability insurance, which will indemnify you from accidents to your employees or the general public. Sales and service liability indemnifies you for injury to a third person, as well as damage to their property as a result of sales, servicing, testing, inspection, maintenance or repairs to a vehicle, as well as the buying or selling of any products connected to the motor trade.

    Combined Motor Trade Insurance:

    Combined motor trade insurance is the most comprehensive option in terms of protection for your entire business. Depending on the type of combined cover you opt for, this will cover your business premises, contents, engineering inspection, vehicles in transit, money and tools. Most combined motor trade insurance policies will include professional, public or employee liability, or a combination of all three.

    There are a whole range of add-ons and extensions to these policies, such as insurance for demonstration purposes, which allows you to let potential buyers test drive vehicles; an essential for any motor trader. You can also add named drivers to the policy, meaning your employees can also drive multiple vehicles.

    For more information on the options available and the best policy for your business call us on 0844 573 2400 and speak to one of our Motor Trade Insurance experts today.

  9. Motorists Warned About Problems Hiring Cars Abroad

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    Motorists going abroad after 8 June are being warned they will need to take a special code with them if they want to hire a car.

    From that date the paper counterpart of British driving licences – which records endorsements and fines – is being computerised.

    Anyone wanting to hire a car abroad will officially need a code to show convictions for offences like speeding.
    To obtain it, motorists will have to log on to the DVLA website beforehand.

    But the code is only valid for 72 hours, so anyone wanting to hire a car more than three days into their trip will need to generate a new code while they are abroad.

    For those who do not have internet access, a phone number will also be made available.

    The RAC said many drivers were unaware of the changes.

    “Our research shows that with just over a month to go before the paper counterpart to the photo-card licence disappears, 55% of drivers are not aware of the planned change,” said RAC spokesman Simon Williams.

    ‘Belt and braces’

    The DVLA recommends destroying paper counterparts after 8 June.

    However the AA is advising people to hang on to the document, in case some hire companies are unaware of the new arrangements.

    “Not all car rental companies, or indeed traffic police abroad, will be aware of the changes, so a ‘belt and braces’ approach of also taking the counterpart might help,” said AA president Edmund King.

    But the AA also said that hiring a car abroad without a paper counterpart is not always a problem.

    Just as some car hire companies do not currently ask for a counterpart, not all will ask for a code after 8 June.
    The old-style paper licences, issued before the photo card was introduced in 1998, will remain valid, but holders will still need a code to fully validate them.

    To view a record of their convictions, motorists can log on to the View My Driving licence page of the government website.

    They will need their driving licence number, their national insurance number and their postcode.

    The changes do not apply to driving licences issued by the DVA in Northern Ireland.

    Source: BBC News

  10. DNA Insurance supports Football Shirt Friday

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    Last week the team at DNA Insurance joined in with Football Shirt Friday to raise money to kick bowel cancer for good!

    This fantastic cause was to raise money for the Bobby Moore Fund for Cancer Research UK who is dedicated to beating bowel cancer in memory of the legendary football player Bobby Moore.

    Football fans across the UK and non-football fans, who just wanted to get involved with fundraising either pulled on their favourite strip, borrowed a shirt, represented their local side or even braved it and took on the challenge of wearing a rival shirt.

    The inspiration for this fundraising event comes from the famous shot at the 1970 World Cup in Mexico with Bobby Moore and Pele swapping shirts.

    Pele, a close friend of Bobby’s says “The picture of Bobby and I swapping shirts at the 1970 World Cup brings the memories flooding back. It remains iconic to this day and I think it’s a great inspiration for the Bobby Moore Fund’s Football Shirt Friday! Swap your favourite football shirts with your friends in April, and help Make Bobby Proud by supporting life-saving bowel cancer research.”

    The whole team at DNA Insurance got involved and proudly wore their football shirts to work, we had many different football strips in the office although the majority of people were wearing and supporting West Ham. We also had one QPR fan but no one was brave enough to wear a rival football shirt!

    If you couldn’t wear your football shirt on the 11th you can join in on any Friday in April! If you are taking part, you can donate by texting GOAL002 to 70070 to donate £2 or get involved online: http://bobbymoorefund.cancerresearchuk.org/