Trackers… it’s time to talk.

20th April 2021

As you will be aware, there has been a growing problem over the past few years of certain cars being popularly targeted by thieves. This had led the insurance industry to put conditions on clients for more and more models, particularly 4x4s.

As can be seen from the following Daily Telegraph article in the Money section by Will Kirkham on 10th April 2020 (reproduced in full) one of the more popular approaches for insurers is to ask for a tracker to be fitted to the car.

Four-by-four owners blocked from car cover after spike in thefts

Car insurers have refused to cover four-by-four vehicles unless they have been fitted with a specialist tracking device following a rise in thefts.

In some cases, trackers fitted as standard by vehicle manufacturers have been deemed inadequate by insurers, according to Broadway Insurance Brokers.

Data from the Office for National Statistics showed that 12pc of all burglaries in England and Wales in the 12 months to March last year involved theft of cars or car parts, double the figures for 2010. Several of the bestselling four-by-four models were among the most frequently stolen vehicles in Britain, according to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency.

The Land Rover Range Rover was the second most likely vehicle to be stolen in 2020, with 2,881 illegally taken over the year.

Eleanor Moore, of Broadway Insurance Brokers, said it was a growing issue: “Having a tracking device is now a regular requirement before a quote is even provided. Even so, we have seen plenty of cases in which vehicles with trackers are being turned down because they’re not regarded as offering sufficient protection.”

Ms Moore said that one client saw a claim refused by his insurer after his car, which was fitted with a tracker, was stolen. His was because the client had failed to renew his tracker subscription, meaning the device was not operational at the time of the theft. This left him liable for £40,000 in car finance payments.

“It’s important to remember that insurers are under no obligation to provide cover,” she said.
“Those motorists wanting to take out and renew policies for their cars need to make sure that they understand and abide by the small print.”

Some 74,769 vehicles were stolen across Britain last year, according to DVLA figures obtained by Riverdale Leasing, a car firm, nearly 20,000 more than the previous year.
Despite this, car insurance costs have fallen to a seven year low across the market due to a drop in claims during the pandemic, according to Moneysupermarket, a comparison site

It is clear these tracker requirements mean some considerations for your clients and we encourage you to engage with them so that they don’t make any costly assumptions. While it may feel that an extra few minutes on a sale which the client has already confirmed compliance with all the endorsements seems like overkill, those two minutes will be a great investment if it takes away the need for a call to explain that cover isn’t in place for a car that has been stolen.

Thankfully, we have very few occasions where we have to deliver bad news to a client, but it’s not a nice conversation on those limited occasions that we do. It’s especially hard to have when it’s clear the client has made an honest, if grave, error.

Here are a few probing questions to add to the conversation so that it doesn’t stop at, “this policy requires you to have an active tracker, can you confirm you can comply with endorsement X?”…”Yes”.

If the car has a manufacturer fitted tracker:

Is it activated?
• Some manufacturers include a tracker, but don’t necessarily subscribe you to a tracking company.
• Even if they did include a subscription when you bought the car, are the subscriptions up-to-date?
a. Perhaps they offered a 1- or 2-year subscription. Has this now lapsed?
b. Did you continue it in your own name?

What type of tracker was fitted?
• It may be that the tracker is a standard tracker, but the insurance requires an Automatic Driver Recognition tracker. Does the manufacturer’s tracker meet the insurer’s requirements?

Regardless of whether the client believes the manufacturer fitted a tracker, or perhaps a previous owner says they added one to the vehicle:
• Are you sure there is a tracker fitted?
• Have you got an instalment certificate?
• Is the tracker Thatcham approved?
• Are you aware that any automatic driver recognition device must be removed from the vehicle when it’s unattended?

You may have your own set of questions. The important thing is to engage with clients to fully understand what’s required of them so that they don’t make the costly mistake of assuming what they have (or think they have) will cover them for all eventualities.

We all know it’s preferable to give monosyllabic answers to insurance proposal questions, but it really is in your clients’ interest to engage in this subject. With thefts up over 33% in a year, security requirements are only likely to become more stringent and may draw more people into understanding the reality of the situation.

Confidas Resumes Travel Insurance Sales

19th April 2021

Confidas are resuming the sale of travel insurance with immediate effect. Just as importantly, we are delighted to confirm that we haven’t made any price increases with this re-introduction.

With so many products being pared back with wide exclusions on Covid-19, we have been careful to keep as much cover in place as possible. To help with some of the inevitable client questions, the following is some guidance on our cover.

Since November 2020 all current policies have had an endorsement which means that a customer won’t be covered if they cancel a trip because of COVID-19 or another pandemic for the following reasons:
• Government actions such as lockdown, social distancing restrictions and quarantine/self-isolation requirements (test and trace).
• Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCDO) advice against all or all but essential travel.
• Not being able to get to their destination or use their accommodation.

However, Customers are still covered for the following reasons relating to COVID-19 or another pandemic:
• Cancelling a trip if they, a travelling companion or close relative is diagnosed with COVID-19.
• Cutting short a trip if the FCO advice changes during it, as long as the advice wasn’t in place when they departed.
• Cutting short a trip if they can’t stay in their pre-booked accommodation
• Emergency medical expenses if they’re diagnosed with COVID-19 while on a trip.

Travel insurance can be bought new as part of a portfolio alongside either our Confidas Max or Lux Home products, and it can also be added for clients who already have a Home product as a mid-term adjustment.

With concerns around capacity in the travel insurance market as the travel industry opens up, we hope this gives you even greater options to serve your clients.

Confidas Flood Re goes live.


We are delighted to announce that Flood Re is now available through Confidas.

The first thing to note is that there the process for gaining Flood Re cover is the same as for current enquiries, simply present the risk as you normally do.

New Business
• The immediate benefit is that Flood Re will allow us to quote a further 1 in 10 cases and give you more opportunities to win business.
• There will be certain triggers where we will automatically cede to Flood Re, but a further benefit of this launch is that we have also developed a rating system to price the flood risk element ourselves where these triggers are not activated.
• In the circumstances where our own Flood premium returns a lower price than the Flood Receded premium, we will offer these exclusive terms instead.

This means your clients will always get our best possible terms.

Change of Address & Additional Properties

• We will also be able to continue to cover more clients who change address or add properties (excluding let properties – see below) to their portfolio.
• At launch, we will require a new policy for risks that are ceded, owing to the new rating structure that has had to be developed to allow Flood Re interaction.
• For the interim this will mean a small number of high flood risk portfolios will need to be cancelled and replaced with a new 12 month policy if the new property must be ceded in order for us to continue to cover our mutual client.
• We are continuing to develop the system to cope with the high flood risk properties on a mid-term adjustment basis and eventually all risks will be migrated on to the new rating system when this is available.

Excess

• Flood Re require a minimum excess of £250.
• Where there is a higher policy excess (usually on Lux) it will be this excess that will be used and this will be clearly shown on the policy schedule.
• Should the excess waiver clause on our own policy mean the policy excess is waived, the Flood Re excess will then apply.
• We will never charge two excesses, only the higher of the two excesses applicable.

Flood risks that will continue to be declined

As you will know, Flood Re will not accept ceding on a very limited number of properties. In line with this, we will not be offering terms in high flood risk areas for:
• Let properties
• Properties built in 2009 onwards.

This is an exciting time for us all, particularly as the new rating approach will give an alternative, exclusive, pricing structure to you and your clients who may have previously struggled to find cost effective solutions to their household insurances.

Post-Brexit Green Card Advice

After 31st December 2020, you will be aware there is some important information your clients should know about before driving in the EU if there’s no deal between the UK and the EU. Some laws might change and you clients may need to carry a Green Card to drive a UK vehicle legally in the EU.

They won’t need a Green Card for any trip that ends with a return to the UK before 11pm on 31st December 2020, as this is the first date a no deal Brexit could occur.

If a Brexit deal is agreed then there will be no change to today’s position and they will be able to move around Europe in the same way as they can today, although they should still contact you to make sure they have the right cover for them (other than for journeys to the Republic of Ireland, where they are covered as standard). They would not then need a Green Card.

In order to facilitate continued movement on the island of Ireland in the event of a no deal, we are automatically supplying clients living in Northern Ireland with a Green Card. If you are made aware that any of your other clients require a Green Card in the event of a no deal Brexit, please contact a member of the Existing Business team and they will arrange this for you.

Confidas have been Shortlisted for 2020 BIA Broker Partner of the Year

Confidas are honoured to have been named as finalists in the British Insurance Awards Broker Partner of the Year category.

The Broker Partner category reflects not only how well we service our broker partners, but how we work in tandem with them to find mutual solutions to meet the needs of our clients.  In the five years since we started trading, partnership has been at the centre of the way we work.  Having access to underwriters and claims handlers who can look for creative ways to write business and settle claims equitably is as important as the market leading and unique products we have created.

Steve Smith, MD of Confidas commented; “When we started Confidas in 2015 it was with the broker in mind.  We wanted to bring something unique to the market which would allow brokers to develop with us in order to win and retain business. Whilst working with UKI to deliver an unlimited sums insured product that overcame the perennial issue of getting sums insured right so as not to leave clients underinsured, we also invested in delivering levels of service that cater to the demands of clients. I’m extremely proud of the team and their success in growing the business in partnership with our brokers”. 

Our Max product, with its unlimited sums insured and wide cover, allows brokers to compete against the rise of white labelled direct products such as those from high end retailers.  While it might seem obvious that we would say it, it’s always best to have an insurance broker because not all policies are the same and they are specialist in finding cover to match client needs.  It has been by listening to, and working closely with, our brokers to refine our products and procedures have we been able to succeed in this market. 

We would like to thank everyone we have partnered with over the past five years.  Our joined up approach has led to our shortlisting as Broker Partner of the Year, but more importantly it has allowed us to better look after our clients.

Managing payments during coronavirus lockdown

How Confidas can help you if your current income has been impacted by Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Ways we may be able to support you:

·         By reviewing your levels of cover

·         Changing instalment dates

·         Payment deferrals

What is a payment deferral?

·         A payment deferral normally means that when monthly payments resume, the amount that has been missed gets spreads over the remainder of the agreement.

Is a payment deferral appropriate for me?

·         Payment deferrals should only be used when absolutely necessary, the full credit agreement balance will still be due, but will be paid over a shorter period.

·         The total payable will not increase as a result of a payment deferral as we will not charge any additional interest.

·         Agreed payment deferrals will not have a negative impact on your credit score (if applicable).

What should I do next?

·         If you are struggling financially please contact your insurance broker in the first instance and discuss your needs with them.

·         Do not cancel any payments or direct debit through your bank as this may have an adverse impact on your policy with us and your credit score.  

COVID-19 Statement

Dear Broker

Having spent the past few days testing our capabilities to move to a fully remote operation, we are pleased to say we are in a strong position to continue to deliver our service to you in this manner.  In line with Government advice to only travel where necessary, we have taken the decision to now fully close our Croydon office until further notice. 

Change to some procedures

While we are focused on continued excellent service, there are inevitably some changes to our contact and processes.

• The key one is that we will be able to work more productively via email communication during this time.

• However, direct dials will divert to our mobile phones – please be aware that we don’t all get great mobile signal while working remotely, hence the preference for email contact.

• If you do wish to talk to someone, calls to 0208 603 7157 will be handled by our Norfolk office, which continues to remain open.

Claims

• Calls are already diverted to our Leeds team and they will take FNOL advices and distribute the claims handling as appropriate.

• As previously advised, you should not see any changes to our working patterns or service levels from claims.

Underwriting

• As previously advised, we would prefer email instruction as this gives us an audit trail in the absence of a call recording system – this is for the benefit of both you and us as well as our mutual clients.

 All underwriters are available on their normal email address, and per above, have got mobile capability if necessary (within our usual working hours).

 • As part of the service Confidas offer, we already have in place a process for auto renewal, client’s will not be left off cover if you can’t communicate with us

.• As a reminder for data security purposes, for New Business instructions where you wish to put a client on cover using our Interest Free Direct Debit facility, please:

Put the client’s banking details in a password protected document (e.g. Word or Excel)

Email the encrypted document to insurance@confidas.co.uk

In a separate email, send the password for the document

• For New Business instructions on broker account, simply advise this is the case in the email confirming cover.

Business Development

• Both Steve & Andy remain available by phone, but as a business, we have taken the decision not to undertake face to face meeting for the foreseeable future.

Accounts

• Remains business as usual

Further update on travel insurance

• If a client already had Confidas Travel insurance in the previous insurance period, they will be able to continue this at renewal.

• We cannot currently add travel insurance to the home product at renewal if the client did not have Confidas Travel insurance in the previous insurance period.

• We cannot currently add travel insurance, or individuals not yet on a current insurance, to the home product mid-term.

• We cannot currently add travel insurance to the home product as new business.

We hope that you and your teams are healthy and remain so during this pandemic.

Kind regards

Paul Birch
Head of Underwriting
0208 603 3750

Confidas helps Brokers tackle under insurance in the MNW sector with enhanced Home Max offering

Confidas, the market leading provider of Mid and High Net Worth insurance portfolio products for home, travel, motor and pet – available exclusively through insurance brokers and intermediaries – is enhancing its MNW Confidas Home Max household product with the addition of unlimited general contents and unlimited alternative accommodation cover as standard*.

Confidas Home Max was one of the first, non-direct products to offer unlimited buildings insurance to the intermediated MNW market. Incorporating unlimited general contents and alternative accommodation into the household policy now strengthens Confidas Max as the market leading solution for MNW clients.

Steve Smith, Confidas Partnership Director, commenting on the new offering says: “The Mid Net Worth market is highly competitive and it is widely accepted that under insurance, particularly for general contents, is a real challenge for brokers and Insurers alike. Under insurance is often compounded by years of index linking, leaving the client vulnerable and significantly under insured in the event of a major loss.”

“We have seen a number of direct brands such as John Lewis have success in offering unlimited general contents. Now, this new proposition further supports brokers in winning and keeping business and adds another layer of security for brokers and their customers by giving them even greater peace of mind that the client is adequately insured.”

Steve continues: “We already offer policy holders great value in terms of cost, level of cover and claims service. Importantly, this underpins our commitment to assist brokers and intermediaries in delivering ‘treating customer fairly’ outcomes.”

“We believe Home Max is a winning product for our brokers to sell. Clients will have all the comfort of unlimited cover, combined with great broker service. Policyholders also have the ability to add their cars, pets and travel cover needs to the Max portfolio at any time, with one renewal date and one interest free direct debit.”

All existing Home Max policy holders will benefit from this enhancement.

Confidas Home Max – key benefits for brokers and intermediaries:

  • Helps sell and retain business in a competitive market
  • Helps brokers comply with FCA regulations to ‘Treat Customers Fairly’
  • Reduces the opportunity for underselling
  • Makes sure customers are not under insured
  • Home Emergency Limits doubled

* Confidas Home Max now offers unlimited home buildings, general contents and alternative accommodation cover. Limits do apply to other sections of the policy and brokers should always check the policy wording in conjunction with the schedule to ascertain the full scope of cover. As Mid Net Worth and High Net Worth insurance specialists, Confidas will work with advisers and their clients to ensure they purchase the correct household policy to meet their specific needs.

Confidas selected to join LSL network’s First Complete and Pink General Insurance Panels

Confidas, the market leading provider of mid and high net worth insurance portfolio products for home, travel, motor and pet, is pleased to announce that it has been selected by First Complete and Pink, foremost UK mortgage and insurance intermediary networks, to join their general insurance (GI) panels.

This partnership is a first for the network intermediary sector, with Confidas and its parent company, Smith Greenfield, not currently featuring on any other network panel.*

Confidas products are available exclusively through advisers and traditional GI brokers. Confidas provides highly competitive home insurance propositions for customers with mid and high net worth homes and possessions and allows them to add additional properties, travel insurance, motor and pet insurance at any time.

The Confidas product portfolio enables advisers to compete more effectively for MNW and HNW business, allowing them to quote and buy a MNW home product 24/7. The platform also commits to providing the majority of HNW home quotes within four working hours, which in turn supports advisers in winning business and achieving higher customer service levels.

For Confidas, this deal consolidates its growth in 2017, which has seen its Gross Written Premium increase by just under 50%. Confidas is now writing business at a level which should see a further 35% growth in 2018.

Hannah Tasker, Development Manager for General Insurance, First Complete and Pink says:

“We are hugely excited to welcome Confidas to our GI panel to help bridge the gap in our proposition for those clients that don’t fit into mass market home insurance products. Approximately 2.7 million households who should have more premium policies are currently choosing standard cover. Through extending our product offering in this area we can improve customer outcomes by making sure more customers get the right cover at the right price.”

“We have been piloting Confidas for a number of months now and the partnership has been a great success. Feedback from all firms who have used Confidas has been exceptional in all aspects of the offering including the system, ease of use, process, product and service.”

Steve Smith, Partnership Director at Confidas, says:

“We are delighted that First Complete and Pink are the first intermediary networks that we join, and we are looking forward to working closely with their advisers in the future. At Confidas, we recognise that people with high value homes and possessions require higher levels of specialist cover and attentive service. By offering our products through First Complete and Pink’s advisers, we can be sure that policyholders will receive the individual attention, bespoke cover and first-class service they deserve.”

Smith Greenfield Boosts Board with Appointment of Andrew Cross as Chairman

New investment set to accelerate Smith Greenfield growth plans

Smith Greenfield, leading independent broker for High Net Worth private clients and corporate insurance, is pleased to announce that Andrew Cross has been appointed Chairman.

Cross, who is also Chairman of the Somerville Group, has a proven track record in investing and growing businesses in the High Net Worth insurance sector. As part of the agreement with Smith Greenfield, Cross has invested in the company and has taken a minority shareholding.

Steve Smith, Company CEO, speaking about the appointment, said: “Smith Greenfield has ambitious growth plans to double in the size over the next two years. Our private client business is thriving and we have successfully established the Confidas brand as a product of choice for the HNW and MNW intermediary market. With new investment and the added expertise that Andrew brings to the team, we can accelerate our plans to expand operations and develop the business.”

“In Andrew Cross we have found an experienced investor and Chairman who will guide and support us in achieving our strategic vision.”

Andrew Cross is Chairman of the Somerville Group which he founded in 1982. The Group is involved with a range of underwriting, broking and advisory businesses in the insurance and financial services sector. He was central to the creation, growth and sale of Plum Underwriting and responsible for the transformation of Oak into a market leading high value insurance provider.

Commenting on his appointment, Cross adds; “I have always admired the professional and innovative culture at Smith Greenfield and am delighted to be working with Steve Smith and his team in growing the company. Smith Greenfield is forward thinking and has developed cutting edge ideas and initiatives that look like a real solution to the changing distribution challenge within the insurance market. I will use my experience to help the business build on these fantastic foundations.”