Direct line refusing to insure my adapted Caddy

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Direct line refusing to insure my adapted Caddy

Postby stevelawiw » 03 May 2019, 16:22

Hi has anyone had problems insuring thier adapted vans before? I'm a bit shocked this sort of thing still goes on, maybe I'm being a bit naive but it has angered me.
Thier problem is with the adapted suspension, they say it is not something thier underwriters will allow. I have complained and they are going to check with thier underwriters. I'm currently insured with Fish, I've never claimed off them for anything but my premium keeps increasing every year, this year they want £370 so I thought i'd shop around. direct lines standard premium for me is £168 without breakdown and this problem has occured when I phoned to tell them it's an adapted van.
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Re: Direct line refusing to insure my adapted Caddy

Postby Burgerman » 03 May 2019, 16:44

Because you want to insure something that is different to the quote. Thats not a surprise. My fish insurance is agreed value 45K and the premium they wanted was 414 pounds because its not only adapted suspension, but wheels, lowered floor, 57K replacement, left hand drive, and US import, 3.8 litre.

So I went online and did it for 344 with Elephant. It includes no claims cover and legal, etc etc. Yes I rang LATER and confirmed all heavy modifications, and all complicated details before payment. Start with comparison sites, follow up with a call. There were three at 179 but required some fancy alarm imobilizer, so I skipped those.
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Re: Direct line refusing to insure my adapted Caddy

Postby stevelawiw » 03 May 2019, 17:43

Ok understand what you're saying.
But it still, after 39 years in a chair really irks me that this sort of thing is still happening, I have to pay extra to have a vehicle that I can even get into let alone drive, and then I have to pay more for insurance even tho I'm no more likely to have an accident than anybody else (probably less given my low mileage) because of the adaptations that I have to have banghead
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Re: Direct line refusing to insure my adapted Caddy

Postby Burgerman » 03 May 2019, 20:40

Being disabled is expensive. Theres not a lot you can do about this.
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Re: Direct line refusing to insure my adapted Caddy

Postby foghornleghorn » 03 May 2019, 21:12

Maybe read what you are agreeing to before you submit the quote form?
Direct Line > Get a quote

5. Assumptions and privacy
.....
Your vehicle has not been changed from the manufacturer’s standard specification (including wheels, suspension, bodywork and engine).

Modified vehicle is more expensive to fix if damaged - of course it will be more expensive to insure.

Doesn't matter how safe a driver you think you are. Everything is down to statistics and you will be grouped together with everyone else who owns an adapted Caddy. Plus extreme low mileage makes you more of a risk in their eyes through lack of practice.

A modified vehicle is going to be best insured through a broker that deals mainly in modified vehicles. It will end up properly described during the quote and on your paperwork leaving no confusion later if you have to claim.
https://www.fishinsurance.co.uk
https://www.chartwellinsurance.co.uk
https://www.bewiser.co.uk/disabled-driv ... -insurance
https://www.adrianflux.co.uk/disabled
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Re: Direct line refusing to insure my adapted Caddy

Postby iainsherriff » 04 May 2019, 16:53

be careful with Direct Line !!

They do quote well first time round BUT the price bumps considerably next time AND they add penalty charges when you leave !
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Re: Direct line refusing to insure my adapted Caddy

Postby Scooterman » 17 Sep 2019, 09:47

Do insurance companies add a premium to vehicles fitted with hand controls? i.e. the push/pull lever?
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Re: Direct line refusing to insure my adapted Caddy

Postby Irving » 17 Sep 2019, 10:01

Scooterman wrote:Do insurance companies add a premium to vehicles fitted with hand controls? i.e. the push/pull lever?

Probably since statistically the numbers are so small they don't have adequate info so gets lumped into the 'unknown' class.

That's why a specialist insurer can be cheaper.
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Re: Direct line refusing to insure my adapted Caddy

Postby Irving » 17 Sep 2019, 10:09

FWIW because I live in a 'high risk' area, lots of top of the range Audi, Range Rover, BMW, etc. I get hit bad by generalist insurance whereas Fish tend to come in much cheaper, usually I end up playing Fish v Chartwell every couple of years.
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Re: Direct line refusing to insure my adapted Caddy

Postby Scooterman » 17 Sep 2019, 13:04

Burgerman wrote: My fish insurance is agreed value 45K

So if your van gets written off you receive a cheque for £45k? I've never heard of that before...

Irving wrote:
Scooterman wrote:Do insurance companies add a premium to vehicles fitted with hand controls? i.e. the push/pull lever?

Probably since statistically the numbers are so small they don't have adequate info so gets lumped into the 'unknown' class.

That's why a specialist insurer can be cheaper.

Thanks :thumbup:
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Re: Direct line refusing to insure my adapted Caddy

Postby Irving » 17 Sep 2019, 13:18

Scooterman wrote:
Burgerman wrote: My fish insurance is agreed value 45K

So if your van gets written off you receive a cheque for £45k? I've never heard of that before...


Mines the same £28k + £18k adaptations agreed value

Quite common with specialist insurance for customised or classic vehicles... doesn't necessarily cost more.

You can do it on any vehicle - its called 'gap insurance'. Covers the gap between what the insurance offers and the invoice or agreed value.
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Re: Direct line refusing to insure my adapted Caddy

Postby greybeard » 17 Sep 2019, 13:41

Scooterman wrote:Do insurance companies add a premium to vehicles fitted with hand controls? i.e. the push/pull lever?


No. If they did it would be classed as discriminating against a disabled person. I know this as I have had push pull fitted. The insurance company just needed to notified of the installation so they can up-rate the records.

Of course there is no way that you would know if they padded the renewal premium in subsequent years!!
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Re: Direct line refusing to insure my adapted Caddy

Postby Scooterman » 17 Sep 2019, 18:25

Irving wrote: its called 'gap insurance'. Covers the gap between what the insurance offers and the invoice or agreed value.


greybeard wrote:No. If they did it would be classed as discriminating against a disabled person. I know this as I have had push pull fitted.

Thanks guys both answers are useful to know :thumbup:
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Re: Direct line refusing to insure my adapted Caddy

Postby Scooterman » 17 Sep 2019, 18:44

How easy do you think it'd be to fit a push/pull lever (without indicator switch) to something like a caddy? Motability fitted one to my golf estate. It doesn't look that complicated, just some rods bolted to the pedals :problem:
I'm able-bodied enough to slide out on my manual chair onto the floor and haul myself back up into it (can't do the same from the salsa, footplate gets in way). But I could use an independent fitter if I could find one?
The reason I ask is that for a while I've been thinking of getting back on the road again, and I like the VW caddy. I don't want to go down the motability route again and would rather buy my own vehicle.
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Re: Direct line refusing to insure my adapted Caddy

Postby Burgerman » 17 Sep 2019, 19:13

Most require you to be a contortionist, drill impossible holes, and is a pig of a thing to do. Take it to a mobility specialist. Also, wrong vehicle long term.
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Re: Direct line refusing to insure my adapted Caddy

Postby Irving » 17 Sep 2019, 19:15

Scooterman wrote:How easy do you think it'd be to fit a push/pull lever (without indicator switch) to something like a caddy? Motability fitted one to my golf estate. It doesn't look that complicated, just some rods bolted to the pedals :problem:
I'm able-bodied enough to slide out on my manual chair onto the floor and haul myself back up into it (can't do the same from the salsa, footplate gets in way). But I could use an independent fitter if I could find one?
The reason I ask is that for a while I've been thinking of getting back on the road again, and I like the VW caddy. I don't want to go down the motability route again and would rather buy my own vehicle.

If you're buying second hand then there are approved companies out there that will fit for you. If buying new you don't pay VAT on the vehicle or fitting if you go through the right procedures. I don't know what the insurance/legal position is fitting it yourself.

https://www.jeffgosling.co.uk wrote:Can I fit my own driving adaptations?
We do supply some of the smaller, secondary control adaptations for customers to fit themselves. However, if you are a Motability customer your adaptations will have been fitted prior to handover of your vehicle.

For your safety and that of other road users, we only supply our hand controls and left foot accelerators through our fully trained network of installers who carry the relevant public liability insurance.

Who can install my adaptations?
We have a network of more than 70 fully trained installers throughout the UK. For details of your nearest installer, please contact us on 0161 430 2151.

Where will my adaptations be fitted?
Most adaptations are fitted at the dealership before you take delivery. However most of our installers work on a mobile basis and will be happy to fit at your home or alternative address if required.
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Re: Direct line refusing to insure my adapted Caddy

Postby greybeard » 17 Sep 2019, 20:00

All the major suppliers claim basic push pull systems are make/model specific so you are almost inevitably going to have to buy new. However they all look remarkably similar, so similar that I have long suspected that fitters are discouraged by suppliers from fitting used kit even if it could be installed with a little tweaking. New are all around £500.00 fitted.
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Re: Direct line refusing to insure my adapted Caddy

Postby stevelawiw » 17 Sep 2019, 22:56

It's worth spending £500 on getting hand controls professionally fitted if you're buying a new vehicle and getting the car Vat zero rated
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Re: Direct line refusing to insure my adapted Caddy

Postby Burgerman » 18 Sep 2019, 00:56

I might add that if you buy a new vehicle and have the cash, no trade in, and call a few dealers and lookonline you can often get 15 to 17% off. And no 20% VAT if adapted (hand controls or whatever). That makes it stupid to buy either used, or to use motobility where you get to give it back every 3 years and start again.
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Re: Direct line refusing to insure my adapted Caddy

Postby stevelawiw » 18 Sep 2019, 09:11

Silly not too :thumbup:
Back in the day :roll: when I could actually get in a car my favoured way of purchase was the cars that had been used as testers for customers, I can't remember the term used to describe them, but anyhow they had a sizeable wad taken off the price because they wern't new, but you could still zero rate ;)
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Re: Direct line refusing to insure my adapted Caddy

Postby Irving » 18 Sep 2019, 09:15

stevelawiw wrote:Silly not too :thumbup:
Back in the day :roll: when I could actually get in a car my favoured way of purchase was the cars that had been used as testers for customers, I can't remember the term used to describe them, but anyhow they had a sizeable wad taken off the price because they wern't new, but you could still zero rate ;)
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Re: Direct line refusing to insure my adapted Caddy

Postby stevelawiw » 18 Sep 2019, 09:31

Hi Irving, yes ex-demo. but also it had to be unregistered. I'm sure there was a term they used maybe Vat qualifying?
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Re: Direct line refusing to insure my adapted Caddy

Postby Scooterman » 18 Sep 2019, 12:41

Thank you guys I really appreciate all the replies (and I mean it) :thumbup:

It was silly of me thinking I could fit hand controls myself. I over estimate my abilities and as you say there could be insurance implications.

And I agree with you about buying new or an ex-demo. I'm lucky and have got the cash (on 90 day notice) to be able to buy new with the VAT free and shopping around. There's a few brokers on the internet and if I'm not too fussed about colour and trim level I might be able to pick up something with a discount.

What's your opinion on engines. Most caddy's I've seen on broker sites are diesel, but diesel seems to be getting a bad reputation now because of emissions?

Also what about engine size? Most seem to be 2.0 litre DSG. I obviously need DSG/automatic but haven't the foggiest about engine size?

When I make my mind up for definite about getting one I'll start a new thread as this one is Steve's. And I'll post links to any vehicles I've seen online and also ask for any suggestions + insurance etc.

A Caddy isn't set in stone, it's just as I said previously I find the driver's seat more supportive/comfortable (for me) than other makes I've sat in.

One last question about tailgate/rear doors. I don't know which is better, and most vans seem to have rear doors? At the moment I physically able enough to stand on crutches and open doors and lift down manual ramp, I've practiced on a Caddy WAV. But I want to keep the insurance of being able to have fitted a power tailgate/doors and powered ramp at a later date if need be.
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Re: Direct line refusing to insure my adapted Caddy

Postby Burgerman » 18 Sep 2019, 20:19

Engine size doesent much matter. Horsepower and flexibility do.

Also the latest diesels are very envioromental... But personally I would not care for diesel if I could avoid it. They are useless and couldnt pull the skin off a rice pudding unless turbocharged. And once they are you need about 7 gears to keep rowwing it along. Even if automatic. They have a knot of power over a limited rpm range. Its wait, wait, whoosh, and its over. Charge gear. Rinse and repeat.

Get a petrol engine.
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Re: Direct line refusing to insure my adapted Caddy

Postby LROBBINS » 18 Sep 2019, 21:08

At least when we bought our Caddy Maxi a few years ago the automatic transmission was only available with the larger diesel and not with the petrol engine. It's a 6 speed and the combination seems to have plenty of power for our driving style - even with 5 adults and chair on board.
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Re: Direct line refusing to insure my adapted Caddy

Postby Irving » 18 Sep 2019, 22:17

Anything adapted from a van is hard to find in anything other than diesel esp if automatic (or maybe diesels only come with auto boxes for the reasons BM points out). Virtually all European/Far Eastern WAVs come as diesels.
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Re: Direct line refusing to insure my adapted Caddy

Postby Burgerman » 19 Sep 2019, 10:27

Its all about economy, mpg. They assume that being disabled we dont want smooth, powerful vehicles and want a rattly old diesel.

My previous VW van was available with either deisel, and about 11 gears auto. Or with a 4 speed auto, and a 2.8 litre V6 petrol engine that you could not hear running and needed to look at the rev counter to find out! It was also much faster. The new caravelles are all deisel only... So no choice. The economy of deisels is great. If you dont mind the downsides. But you can fit a gas conversion to the petrol engine vans and buy your fuel at half price...
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Re: Direct line refusing to insure my adapted Caddy

Postby Scooterman » 20 Sep 2019, 18:19

Sometimes when riding along a diesel car will accelerate past me belching dirty grey/brown smoke out of the exhaust making me cough and splutter. How does it get through the MOT, does the emission test not measure the amount of crude that comes out the exhaust?
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