Raw Deal: Insuring Far East car was simple but then fixing it? Not so much

Raw Deal. Saga Car Insurance. Raymond and Catherine Chalmers are having difficulty getting Saga to pay out after a tourist crashed into their car last year. The tourist was charged and convicted in court. 16 Jul 2018. Copyright photo by Tina Norris 07775 593 830 No unauthorised use including web use. 07775 593 830 www.tinanorris.co.uk

HEARD the one about the car insurance company that paid a customer almost £2,000 to go away?

That is what happened to June Field after she insured her son Sam’s vehicle which was imported from Japan.

June couldn’t have foreseen the hassles she would encounter after Sam, 26, bought a Nissan Cube last year.

She insured the car for him with Provident at a cost of £612.

She didn’t think any more about it until she tried to make a claim for damage after someone ran into the back of Sam’s car in March.

“The car was sent off to Nationwide Repairs in Forfar to get fixed,” June, who is The Sunday Post’s psychic, told Raw Deal.

“But then the manager called to say he couldn’t get some of the parts because it is a Japanese import.

“Someone from the insurance company then called and said they would give us £1,184 to get it repaired – but they would have to then void our insurance. I was told they couldn’t insure the car any longer because they hadn’t realised it had been imported from outside the EU.

“They also agreed to refund a further £114 for terminating the policy early.”

June insisted she had told Provident the car was imported when she first applied.

“I had phoned the company to insure the car.” said June, from Dundee.

“At no stage did I try to hide the fact that it had come from Japan.

“The company then said that I had ticked a box that said the car had been imported from within the EU.

“I told them that I had ticked no such box because no such box exists.

“As an experiment I even went through the process of applying again, this time using their online forms, and I could not find an option that asked if a car was imported from outside the EU.”

After that, Provident’s representatives listened back to calls between June and a sales adviser. They concluded that June had been right so they also then offered to pay the £605 cost of insuring the Nissan with rivals Elephant for a year.

June said: “I was basically paid a total of more than £1,900 to go away and get insured by someone else.”

She then contacted Raw Deal and we asked Provident for an explanation.

A spokeswoman said: “We don’t offer insurance cover for imported vehicles from outside the EU, due to difficulties obtaining parts for repairs.

“In this case, the vehicle was not identified as a Japanese import prior to purchase and, as a result, a policy was incorrectly issued.

“The vehicle’s import status was only identified at the claim stage, when the repairer could not source parts to complete the repair.

“To resolve this, a cash settlement for the repairs was given and the policy was cancelled as we could not continue to cover it under our terms.

“When June initially complained, we thought they had incorrectly declared the status of the vehicle. However, on investigation we identified that this was not the case.

“We accept that this was not down to the customer and have apologised. By way of compensation, we have also paid for a full year’s insurance premium with an alternative insurer.”

Despite being paid compensation, June is still fuming about the delays to the repairs, almost five months after the accident.

“It has been nothing but a hassle,” she said.

“I would urge anyone who buys an imported car to study the small print when they come to buy insurance.”