I changed car insurance provider earlier this year after many years of excellent service at Direct Line. I transferred to M&S, mainly because its quoted premium was considerably lower.
All went well until the summer when my daughter, who has lived in Israel for six years, made her annual trip to England. I rang M&S to add her temporarily to my policy – something I had done for several years with Direct Line – but was told that it would not insure anyone visiting this country from abroad, and that this was a rule laid down by the underwriter. My daughter is a British citizen, has held a British drivers’ licence for more than 20 years, and has never made an insurance claim.
Needless to say I will not be renewing with M&S (unless it can be persuaded to change its mind!). Have you come across this before? MS, Kingston upon Thames
I have. M&S’s stance is harsh, but it is not alone. Plenty of UK insurers won’t allow policyholders to add those living abroad – with some it is non-Europeans, with others, those not from a Commonwealth country. I was once told that I could add a Canadian to our car policy (for a house swap) but not an American. If you regularly add friends/family to your policy, Direct Line is the standout insurer and will often charge just a few pounds for a weekend’s cover. In similar circumstances others want £60-plus.
If you think you will want to add someone to a car policy mid term, you need to factor this in when renewing or switching. I once had to cancel a policy (at considerable cost) to enable me to add a US friend. In your case, it’s worth looking at buying temporary top-up cover to insure your daughter while here. There are a host of companies (search “temporary car insurance” on Google) offering 28-day policies and fewer, and this may be the most cost-effective solution.
Alternatively, M&S has said it will let you cancel the policy for free so you can switch insurer to cover your daughter.?
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