Insurers refusing to cover London-based Range Rovers

1 year, 1 month ago - 23 February 2023, autocar
Insurers refusing to cover London-based Range Rovers
Luxury SUV is UK's second most stolen car with premiums sky high; manufacturer no longer offers insurance

Owners of Range Rovers living in London are finding their vehicles are becoming uninsurable owing to a combination of sky-high premiums and a reduction in the number of firms willing to insure them.

According to the DVLA, in 2022 Range Rovers were the second most stolen cars in the UK, with over 5200 taken. A lot of them were stolen in London with the result that many insurers, hit by mounting claims, have either stopped insuring the cars or sharply increased premiums.

Land Rover itself no longer offers insurance for its models, its website informing customers that it ceased to do so on 1 November 2022. A spokesperson for the company said that it and insurance provider Verex had mutually agreed to end their partnership but that it is preparing to launch ‘an exciting new insurance proposition’.

Autocar was altered to the difficulties by reader Dan Adler. The investment specialist, who lives in North London, realised there was an issue when trying to insure his inbound Range Rover P440e Autobiography, which he ordered 12 months ago.

Adler, who through a broker already insures four vehicles, including a valuable classic car, said: “My insurance premium for them all has just increased from £4000 to £5000 but my broker has now also told me my current insurer is unwilling to insure the new Range Rover, while another would charge an additional £6000 for it, taking my total premium to £11,000. This has made my purchase impossible to contemplate.

Brokers said Adler’s experience is not unique. Samuel Cise, director of Saxon Insurance, told of his problems trying to insure two Range Rovers registered to London addresses. “For one car we were quoted a £20,000 insurance premium while for another, worth £50,000, we were quoted £38,000,” he said. “Many insurers have pulled out of insuring London-based Range Rovers.”

A spokesman for another specialist broker, who did not wish to be identified, said that among prestige cars, Range Rovers are alone in being quoted very high insurance premiums or even none at all. “The reason is the model’s popularity with thieves,” he said. “With cars such as Volvo XC90s or Porsches there is no problem.

Neil Thomas, director of investigation services at AX, a vehicle tracking company, says Range Rovers are a profitable target for thieves. “The problem for Range Rovers is not their security; instead, it’s their huge popularity here and abroad. A thief knows they can dispose of one very easily and for a good price so will invest in the technology they need to steal them. We haven’t yet encountered a stolen new-shape Range Rover but when the thieves’ technology catches up, we expect to.

In a statement, Jaguar Land Rover told Autocar that it takes the issue of vehicle theft very seriously. "We are aware of the impact that this criminality is having on the availability of insurance options for some of our clients," said a spokesperson. "We are proactively engaging with relevant stakeholders, including insurance providers, to evidence how we are improving vehicle security and providing measures to counter this type of activity. 

"We recommend that clients use all available measures to protect their vehicle, including activating our ‘Remote’ app and its suite of security features including ‘Guardian Mode’, which monitors the vehicle and provides an alert if the car has been unlocked."

How hard is it to insure a Range Rover in London?
Posing as a central London resident we attempted to insure a nearly new Range Rover SV P510E costing £209,786 on a fully comprehensive basis. Comparethemarket.com generated just seven quotes ranging from £4351 to £5952, with a £1250 excess.

Repeating the exercise but for a nearly new Bentley Bentayga 4.0 V8 S costing £209,950, 11 quotes came in, the majority around £2000 and with the same £1250 excess.

All quotes were calculated on each car’s market value. In the case of the Range Rover, insurers judged this to be £149,270. It means that in the event of a claim, such as the vehicle’s theft, the policies would pay the car’s market value at the time and not its purchase price, a difference of at least £60,000.

This contrasts with policies offered by brokers who will insure a car at an agreed value on a new for old basis, meaning the owner is fully compensated when they make a claim. However, as the brokers we spoke to testify, few specialist insurers are willing to offer this level of cover for Range Rovers anymore as premiums rise to unobtainable levels.

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