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rsz_shutterstock_227900236aThe National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA) says the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) proposals to shake up Guaranteed Asset Protection (GAP) insurance could leave thousands of motorists with inadequate insurance cover and see dealers reluctant to offer GAP insurance if forthcoming changes prove unworkable for the industry.

In ‘Guaranteed Asset Protection insurance: a competition remedy’, published by the FCA in December, two remedies were outlined to challenge an alleged lack of competition and transparency in the sale of GAP products by dealers. This includes introducing a deferred opt-in programme of four days for GAP insurance to allow customers the opportunity to shop around for other products.

But the NFDA, which has already helped reduce the recommended deferral time from 40 days to just four, believes dealers should be able to offer buyers GAP insurance on the spot and says the proposals could leave consumers financially exposed with a negative impact on their credit rating. The proposals could see car buyers needing additional credit, which according to the NFDA contravenes FCA guidelines.

The NFDA’s submission to the FCA consultation outlines the view that imposing deferred opt-in procedures is often impractical for consumers and doesn’t take into account the fact that only two per cent of car sales are same-day purchases.

Sue Robinson, Director NFDA said: “The FCA says it is looking to protect consumers and ensure they get value for money, but delaying GAP insurance could ultimately leave motorists in a vulnerable position without the full protection of their car and equity that they need.

“The NFDA has already brought deferral times down from the FCA-recommended 30 to 40 days to a more reasonable four days, but we feel more needs to be done.

“Over the last few years we have been working with insurers to identify the problems surrounding GAP insurance and how dealers communicate with their buyers. As a result, from April to December last year complaints were down five per cent compared with the same period in 2013.”

Changes are expected to be implemented from September 01.



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BVRLA photoThe BVRLA has welcomed the Office of Fair Trading’s (OFT) decision to refer the UK’s private motor insurance market to the Competition Commission for further investigation over concerns that it is not working well for motorists.

Earlier this year, the OFT provisionally found that the insurers of drivers responsible for accidents (at-fault drivers) appeared to have little control over the way repairs and replacement vehicles were provided to ‘not-at-fault drivers’ – creating an opportunity for costs to be inflated.

The BVRLA believes the increasing cost of compulsory motor insurance is the biggest threat to the profitability and sustainability of the vehicle rental industry.

“It is disappointing that politicians and the OFT have had to get involved to improve the competition in the sector, which could have got its own house in order,” said the association’s Chief Executive, John Lewis.

“We believe insurance companies should take greater control of vehicle downtime and costs to manage claims effectively. A credit hire organisation will simply provide a car for as long as one is needed to help the not-at-fault car owner. One solution could be to provide a courtesy car as standard for all policy holders.”



GEM Motoring logo
Breakdown cover company and road safety organisation, GEM Motoring Assist, has launched a brand new website with refreshed designs and customer-friendly functions to cater for existing and new members alike.

Famed for its personal breakdown policies, covering the driver rather than just the car, GEM, the number one for breakdown cover in the UK, has revamped its website to continue to offer high quality customer service and to meet customer’s needs.

Featuring a clear and simple design, users can easily navigate around the site finding the best policy to suit their needs, while also being able to access topical blog posts, interactive polls, and a huge bank of road safety information, advice and tips, ranging from travelling in Europe to paint scratch repair.

The website also features an improved ‘My GEM’ member’s area that allows members to easily and quickly login to their account to renew their cover, print important documents or make changes to contact information.

David Williams MBE, CEO of GEM Motoring Assist, comments: “We know how important it is for new customers to access relevant information quickly and efficiently, that’s why we’ve designed this new and easy to use website.  We are continuing to develop our popular blog, featuring a range of interesting topics, and have also developed our road safety tips and advice area.  We are certain the new additions will be a great success!”

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