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My car insurance renewal with Footman James was a nightmare! I was in Spain for a week and called their offices about my renewal due by 31st March, as I had not received any renewal documentation. On Tuesday 26th Marcho I was told that it would be emailed to me. On Wednesday and Thursday I chased the email as it had not been sent. I was not returning to the UK until late on the 30th. In my last conversation on the Thursday, I was concerned because I assumed their offices would be closed for 4 days over Easter. The person I spoke to said they were open for business over Easter. I phoned to renew on the Friday they were closed! I tried to renew on the web site but my reference number was not recognised! I was unable to drive my car on my return to the UK and had to leave it in the Bournemouth Airport car park and the taxi home cost me £80! On my return home I opened my mail and their renewal letter was dated 26 March, 4 days to insurance expiring! I did a search on web for alternative insurances yesterday and found many companies at some £300 cheaper than your renewal quote! I sent them an email detailing the saga but it was bounced because their mailbox was full - nightmare!
We came across Footman James just over a year ago, when after a long period of research into insurance for a 17 year old male, we discovered that we could insure certain classic cars for under £1000. This seemed to be the best way out of the 1st car insurance rip off trap that exists in the world today. We were given a list of cars that could be insured and set about finding something that would be suitable. The car we ended up with was a rather nice 1978 1500cc MG Midget. Once we had the car and the lad had passed his test we took out the insurance with Footman James on a third party fire and theft basis at the cost of £895, with a limit of 4500 miles that could be increased later if need be for a nominal sum. All was good and eleven months passed without insident. One month from the renewal date we recieved a letter from Footman James informing us that they would not be able to renew the policy due to changes in underwrighting. Initially this didnt seem to much of a problem as we were looking to upgrade the lad into a newer car using a different insurance company, one that would be more competetive with normal car policies, taking into account that with a years no claims behind him prices had tumbled considerably. This is where the Pitfall apeared! When we took out the policy we were asked if the lad had any No Claims Bonus, the answer was,of course, No, to which the reply was " thats ok as the policy is a flat rate policy and does not take NCB into account". Now I took that to mean that even if he had some bonus it would not affect the price of the policy as it is done on a flat rate. I have since then taken out a similar policy for a classic i have and the same conversation was had. What they acctualy mean is this, The policy will not accrue any bonus what so ever!!!!!! This is not made clear so be warned. After a year of carfull driving my son is back at square one. Yes Footman James have given us a piece of paper stating that there have been no accidents or claims on the policy but this means nothing to other companies! Also be aware that most normal insurers will not count NCB build on classic car policies as they dont consider that a classic will be used as an everyday car. Therefore the driver will not have had the benefit of doing enough mileage to qualify for a real bonus. So we are now left with a car that is going to cost thousands to insure, a company who will no longer insure it and a young driver with a full years experience that is worth nothing to other companies, we have no choice but to join the insurance rip off and pay an extortionate amount and start from scratch. I saw a piece on the box not long ago where a young lad had insured a tractor for something like £24 on an agricultural policy. I thought "brilliant!" some one else who has found a way around the criminal insurance companies, but unfortunatly I fear that the insurance criminals will close that loop hole as well and I am sure the poor lad will pay the price in the long run. Even reading the small print it is not always clear what is meant, so be warned!!
Picture yourself with a two seater convertible sports car that you had just rebuilt from the ground up, tuned the engine, had a full respray and made the interior from scratch. Now take a step back and realise that its got a turbo charged engine, and youre 17. No insurance company is going to touch you with a barge pole. Then imagine signing up to the owners club and being offered insurance for £500 Fully Comp through footman james, just for being part of a group. Dream come true yea? Now picture yourself at 21, with two of those converible cars, with powerful engines and paying £130 a year insurance fully comp on both. In short for me, they are the best insurance choice, they are the cheapest by far. Ive been insured on two cars that i would not even be able to dream about driving and paying less then some one alot older then me on a smaller engined car. Thyey do some great deals with owners clubs, forums and they are even cheaper on alot of other cars then insurers. Obviously its better to go to them direct then through a broker due to it being cheaper and you can negotiate and get what you want. For my £130 a year i get fully comp insurace, legal cover, breakdown cover, european travel cover, european travel insurance and brakedown cover and many more, including road rage insurance? ha. Pros; - Alot of cover for the money - Alot cheaper for me then any other insurance - They do great deals - They know their stuff - They even cover exotic or unusual cars such as bike engined kit cars etc. - Always some one to talk to on the phone that speaks english clearly. Cons; - Like all insurance companies they are not always the cheapest. - Probably not the best for little 1.1 corsas.