In Jan 2008 my son fitted custom alloy wheels (from Halfords) to his Ford car. I phoned his car insurers about the alloy wheels. They did not ask me if these were custom alloys and as a layman, it did not occur to me that maybe I should distinguish between Ford and custom alloys – I just simply told them that alloys had been fitted. They did not tell me that modifying the car by fitting alloys could pose a problem, in fact they said (verbally) that it probably would not affect the insurance.
At the time, my son’s car insurance was being paid from my bank account. At policy renewal time (July 2008), he arranged for the DD to be moved to his account but the first premium after renewal was paid a few days late and his insurers lapsed his policy. They informed my son about this and he immediately contacted them to get the policy reinstated. Unfortunately the insurers could not do this and a new policy (with a different policy number) had to be issued. It meant going through the whole quotation process again and unfortunately when it came to ‘car modifications’ my son forgot to mention the alloys.
My son has now had an accident in his car and has submitted a claim. His insurers are saying that (a) they did not know about the alloys and (b) they do not insure modified cars. They were looking at details under the new policy number, but when I rang them they could see that I had told them about the alloys in Jan 2008, under the old policy number.
All this is to be reconsidered by their underwriters next week but we have been told that there is a good chance that they will throw out the claim and cancel the insurance.
All along we have been under the impression that there was no problem with the insurance, and we feel that we have been misled by not being told in Jan 2008 that the alloys posed a problem. Also, it seems that my son will now have a black mark against his name by having a cancelled policy (e.g. your assumptions for a comparison assume that no cancelled policy).
Assuming that his insurers do cancel the policy, how can my son get his name cleared and not be penalised when purchasing further car insurance? Also, what redress do we have against his insurers for not telling him in Jan 2008 that fitting the alloys meant that he was not now insured?