'BFG' Motor Vehicle Insurance Policies - possible miss-selling

Discussion in 'The Intelligence Cell' started by Crash, Apr 27, 2012.

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  1. A colleague of mine passed me an email about a recent incident where a SP in Germany had a car fire, only to find that the 'BFG' insurance policy was a UK domestic one and the Insurance company has refused to underwrite it - claiming the fault lies with the Broker, well-known in BFG for selling insurance and other financial products.

    The matter has been referred to the FSA for arbitration, however here are some keys points that personnel in Europe may wish to consider:

    • Read the extremely fine detail in the policy booklet about accidents outside of the UK. Do not assume because it is a ‘BFG’ policy that these restrictions do not apply.
    • Clarify the restrictions (hours/distance/geographical location) that might apply to additional services such as legal assistance, vehicle recovery, accident repair and replacement vehicles. [these are often sold as add-ons to the main policy and may be underwritten by other companies].
    • If the policy was sold by a broker, ring the insurance company and confirm that they are aware that you are based abroad and it is a ‘BFG’ vehicle.
    • Check that you have regular direct dial numbers to call [ie not UK 0800 numbers] and that the insurance company has the means of handling overseas claims (ie a European claims partner who can deal with the claim in the HN language).

    It's a pity the BFG VLO didn't pick this up!

    SP abroad should also clarify the services they get with Premium debit cards from their Banks - often sold with all sorts of 'services' - very few of these are applicable outside the UK!
  2. This does not sound to me like the whole story or only edited highlights of all the circumstances involved.

    BFG VLO would not accept an ordinary UK home motor policy, the number of bfg approved UK motor insurers you could count on the fingers of one hand. So unless they messed up big time.

    I suspect the reason they did not pick this up, is probably because the policy was never submitted to them, as it should have been in compliance with standing orders in the first instance.

    As far as a well known broker in bfg mis-selling motor insurance, it seems unlikely they would have a long term future by knowingly doing so. Sounds more like a failure to clearly & fully disclose all relevant circumstances, in which case you will end up buying the wrong aircraft for the model of aircraft carrier you ordered last week. Happens all the time mate.
  3. I caught up with the person involved over the weekend at a social event. He brought a fairly new car back from the UK and rang round several brokers and got a quote - accepted what seemed to be the BV offer and then submitted the paper work via his local BFG rep to the VLO; plates duly issued in Jan 12, fuel coupons flowing, etc. He has since heard from the brokers who acknowledge that the policy was sold 'in error' and have agreed to pay his excess asa good-will gesture, and have appointed local agents to managed the claim. The brokers are also sourcing him a new policy to ensure that this doesn't happen again. They also accept that there 'might be' some other policies also issued in error.

    Now the brokers are a well-known firm who advertise in 6th Sense and elsewhere, so they should know better. Let's hope this is a 'one off'.
  4. Aha, the plot thickens. Thanks for the clarification. Based on that, I suspect, I now know what has occurred here. For the benefit & information of your acquintance, what I can tell him about his predicament & how this might have come about is as follows.

    1. It would appear the bfg vlo have indeed failed in their primary responsibility & duty in this case to ensure that the policy acquired by your colleague met the acceptance criteria for bfg registration. In particular that the issuing insurer, if UK based, was aware & accepted that the policy was being used & valid for foreign registration purposes. If your colleague or the broker misunderstood each other, it is the job of the local bfg clerk & the main bfg vlo to spot that the policy is not suitable for bfg licensing, pick it up & reject it, in which case he should not have been issued with bfg plates in the first instance till the correct type of policy was presented to them.

    2. German regulated insurers & brokers with a physical presence in towns & camps in bfg could not & have no reason to sell a locally based sp a UK home motor policy for bfg registration. I misunderstood your original post & thought you were referring to them, when in fact, in your second post, you only talk about a well known firm who advertise in sixth sense. This leads me to believe you are in fact talking about a UK only based broker who would / could of course, sell a bfg based sp a UK home based motor policy in error for bfg registration because he also sells to sp in the UK or returning to UK.

    3. In this regard, what I would tell your colleague, which he may not be aware of, is that, if it is the broker / insurer I think it is, I am aware the bfg vlo, at the start of this year, took a conscious decision / considered risk to relax the administrative checks that were in place to ensure that policies issued by them & presented for bfg registration fulfilled the compliance criteria for bfg registration. This rule change would appear to tie in with the time frame of January you mention. So it would appear, in the resulting confusion & laxity, it did not take long for one unsuitable motor policy to slip through the net putting your sp friend at risk unnecessarily.

    4. Those checks were in place to safeguard against just the kind of scenario you raise, for the protection of the sp, other road users & bfg from being left in a situation of potential uninsured loss. I think your colleague would be quite entitled to write a letter of complaint to oc bfg vlo asking how the situation he found himself in could possibly have arisen when a system is supposed to be in place to specifically exclude the risk of this happening to him & asking whether this recent change & relaxation of the acceptance criteria contributed to his present difficulty, not only for his own peace of mind, but to ensure this does not happen to anyone else.This might at least ensure the matter is regularised & this incident becomes what you hope is just a one off.

    5. As you quite rightly said, it`s a pity the BFG VLO didn`t pick this up !. Well normally they should & would have & I suspect this fundamental procedural change may well lay behind or have contributed to the reason why the system failed your friend on this occasion.

    One thing is for sure, nobody will freely volunteer or admit that is what most likely happened & you will probably only hear it on this forum.
  5. Thanks for this - I'll pass it on. Since this was brought up at Ramstein and there's been several other, ahem, discoveries of non-compliant policies with the same broker and insurance underwriters. Cue FSA audit.

    The insured is at an ISODET where I believe that the BFG clerk is also the USyO, Postal Officer, Mess President etc, so not perhaps sufficent inspection was done at the local level (and no local 'BFG' insurers). Nonetheless, given that both the broker and underwriters specialise in policies for SP, there is more to this than a simple admin error. Interestingly, when I was serving in Rome, the Italian authorities were happy to accpet my el-cheapo LV policy provided I had a valid green card (which the company happily produced). The Carabinieri looked at the policy, looked at my papers, issued me the authority for fuel coupons. Time taken? 10 minutes. Yet if your were to go down the road to Naples, the VLO is a USN run fiasco. Why does BFG need to be so different? I couldn't understand it when I was serving there.