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The last time I got this excited was back in 1984. We had received many complaints from members that the insurance companies we recommended then could be beaten by ordinary high street brokers and on investigation we found this to be true. We therefore offered the three companies we were associated with an opportunity to design a special scheme for club members which would be unbeatable. None of them achieved this so we ventured out into the insurance world and arranged our own scheme which cut back on commission and premiums and as they say, the rest is history. In the first year we insured thousands of members at an average premium of just over a hundred pounds and we set up a separate department which expanded to the size it is today. But that's not why I'm excited...
Several months ago I received a complaint from a member who was restoring an MG. He was using the car prior to restoration and over a period of a year he was buying parts ready for taking the car off the road. With a garage packed with new wings, doors, bumpers, new wheels etc the MG had barely enough room to park. One day the chap came home, found his garage door unlocked and lots of room to park, a thief had stolen the parts. At first the owner wasn't worried and he applied to the club for a claims form only to be told that the parts weren't covered on his motor policy as they weren't fitted to the car. He was advised to claim off his household and contents but that didn't cover him either. He was then told that he could claim off his credit card company but he'd paid for a few items by card, the rest he'd bought with cash or by cheque. The result was that the member had to start again but before he did he wrote to me his tale of woe. But that's still not why I'm excited...
This is why.
House and Contents insurance prices have followed motor insurance in their downward spiral and premiums are cheaper now in real terms than ever before. The price wars between insurers have seen premiums come down and the casualties all too often have been the standard of service from insurers and/or refusal to pay on any but the most straightforward of claims.
We have arranged our own household and contents policy for a lower premium than elsewhere, we have negotiated full cover with more benefits than on standard policies and in addition we have arranged for parts bought but not yet fitted to be covered so our friend above would have been paid. On top of that, the policy includes free Travel Insurance so there's an extra saving too. Have a look at the sample quotes below, compare them with higher premium you are currently paying for your own policy and then you'll be excited as me!
|Compare these with what you are currently paying and add extra benefits of Spare parts cover, Accidental damage and Travel cover|
|Three bedroom semi in Peterborough or Taunton with own garage||Including rebuild and £20,000 worth contents incl accidental damage £153.64|
|Luxury appt in private block in centre Oxford or Cambridge with nearby lock-up garage||Including rebuild and £40,000 worth of contents incl accidental damage £243.01|
|End of terrace house in Leeds or Manchester with garage in garden||Including rebuild and £25,000 worth of contents incl accidental damage £242.02|
|Palatial home in expensive Surrey or Berkshire area||Including rebuild and £150,000 worth of contents incl accidental damage £795.40||When comparing check to see if your premium includes accidental damage,
some do not. Include £2,000 of non fitted motor car or motor cycle parts (more
cover available on request) and free worldwide travel cover. Additional discounts
are removed if alarms fitted.
Then 'phone 01480 484809 and see how much you save as an MG Owners' Club member.
We get The Times newspaper at home each day and whilst it doesn't have the tabloids it is a great paper. In July I was glancing through the money section and was interested to see that there was an article on car insurance and the war between the direct insurers and brokers. Having written much about this in Insight (free with Enjoying MG each quarter) I was surprised and delighted to see a photograph of a young lady (23) with her MGB GT. The article described how the cheapest cover to this young driver was over a thousand pounds from the direct writers but luckily the owner has been advised to contact the MG Owners' Club, she did and her premium was £400. The article praised the club and our insurance department and it was a wonderful surprise and a superb testimonial.
What a brilliant event! The sun shone, historic racing cars took to the track, scores of car clubs showed members' cars and thousands of beautiful classic cars thronged the car parks and special display areas. Chrysler supported the racing drivers by feeding and entertaining them all weekend and The Heritage Road Show provided live bands and refreshments for the volunteers on the MG Club stands as the three clubs hosted a giant display of historic and more modern MGs. If you didn't make it this year, try and attend in 1997, we'll be there again.
ROVER AND THE MARQUES
The classic car press have been featuring problems between some specialists in classic cars and Rover. In early August the Times featured the problem with the headline "Get off my marques growles Rover". The editorial explained that enthusiast run companies like the Morris Minor Centre having traded happily and with no problems from the company in the past are now being threatened with legal action to stop them using marque names and logos. Many MG specialists are also having problems, they have been using names containing the letters MG, some of them for many years and now they are facing legal action unless they agree to stop.
The problem has been that following the changes in the company from BMC, to BLMC, to British Leyland, to Austin Rover and now Rover, the company executives have been more preoccupied with making a success of the comapny than protecting their marque names. Now Rover is a successful company, it is owned by BMW and recently the company's attentions have turned to the protection of their trademarks. Land Rover was addressed first and over the Land Rover trademark has all but ceased. Now the company's attentions are on MG, Morris, Rover and Austin Healey.
Rover are of course right to protect their marque names and long since retired executives may be blamed for not taking action earlier. It is now the case that Rover are totally revising their Heritage approved specialist scheme and the criteria previously applied to the approved suppliers is being re-exam-ined. The Club welcomes this as for too long Heritage approval was only granted to a relatively small number of companies who formed themselves into their own Association. There are some wonderful smaller companies and individuals who have looked after their marque names and logos when the owners appeared to have no interest in them but many of them have been excluded in the past from the Heritage scheme. We look forward to seeing a fair and equitable licensing system which benefits Rover, protects the trademarks properly and one which assists the enthusiastic specialist marque traders to continue to serve their customers.
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