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Cars undergoing restoration and their parts!

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Cars undergoing restoration and their parts!

Post  Atthelimit on Thu Mar 12, 2009 7:52 pm

Another little insurance wrinkle for you to be aware off.
I work with another Lotus Club from time to time and I have been asked questions about vehicles undergoing restoration work or mechanical maintenance and I thought I would share this information with you here.

I have been told by a customer that one of their friends has had parts to the value of around 5000 stolen from their garage whilst the car was dismantled for restoration work. The question asked was, "Am I covered for parts that are stolen from my garage"?

Short answer is, Probably not!

It is of course something you may check out with the particular insurer you are with but as a rule of thumb the answer is most likely to be no! A motor insurance policy be it for an everyday car or Classic/Cherished car is just that, a policy to cover the whole car not parts of it. To be more precise there are a couple of classic policies that I know will cover "spare parts" but the limit of cover is normally about 500. In the above case after deduction of say a 100.00 excess the net claim to be made would have been 400, a poor return against 5000!

Why won't insurers include cover?
Lots of reasons but a few of the main ones are that parts like this are more easily stolen and therefore the risk is increased and a represents a different proposition from car theft. Another reason is that it is difficult to work out what is a fair value for the part, take Elan rear lights, a new pair will be around 450 ish, a second hand but tatty set will be 50? Of course, the ones on the car were always in mint condition. It is true of a number of cars but the sum of the parts can be worth more than the vehicle as a whole, a rough Elan +2 might be worth say 3500 but if you bought it and split it for parts you may well get more than that figure. (Please don't) One other reasons for insurers to baulk at this cover is that they cannot be sure the parts ever existed in the first place, was this car bought "in need of restoration" with a load of parts missing? You can start to see the dilemma for the insurers can't you? Well even if you don't, they can, and so to avoid arguments over what was ever on the car, what was mint or scrap, they say it's not covered.

One person I was dealing with voiced the opinion that as he had bought a classic car "laid up" policy he had assumed that the insurers would cover such parts and know what he was doing with the vehicle. Laid up does not mean undergoing restoration, it means the car is not being used. I bet there are many Loti which have been laid up for winter and are now waking up as April approaches waiting to be taxed for six months to be used through the summer and then to be returned to winter hibernation around October time.

Never assume anything with insurance, ask, check it out and get to see it in writing, that way you know what you are buying and should not have a nasty shock when you go to make a claim!

On face value 5000 would seem like a lot of money for parts, but to be fair if you take a close look at the prices of some Lotus parts now and it's not hard to see how the cost of parts add up. An Elan S1 steering wheel can, in perfect condition, be worth up to a 1000, a pair of rear lights for a Plus 2 / Europa or S4 Elan 400 plus and so it goes on. You will note these are not large parts and could easily be put in a ruck sac and carted off quite easily. Thieves do not wander round aimiessly breaking into garages just hoping to find some bright shiny new piece of car and sadly most thefts from garages involve someone you know directly or indirectly or even you. People tell people and it only takes one person talking to another group of "friends" about this amazing resto going on where "everything being put back on the car is brand new" to set the ball rolling.





All for sale on fleebay at present, What price these?

Unfortunately your household insurance won't help you in this situation either. Household policies exclude motor vehicles and their parts.

What is the answer?
Be careful, store parts in safe places, the attic, in spare bedrooms and only bring them down when they are ready to fit. There are obviously parts you cannot get into the house, not if you're married and in this case where the big parts are still vulnerable consider alarming the garage.

Keep Safe!

Kim


Last edited by Atthelimit on Thu Mar 12, 2009 8:08 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : problem with thumnails again)
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Atthelimit
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Re: Cars undergoing restoration and their parts!

Post  dpr59 on Thu Mar 12, 2009 10:39 pm

I know understand the note that came with my documents.

Lancaster tell me that I'm such a good customer they would really like
to insure the property and contents.
Which would include upto whatever amount for tools and parts stored in the garage.
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Re: Cars undergoing restoration and their parts!

Post  Atthelimit on Fri Mar 13, 2009 8:36 pm

Hi

I am surprised at this, household insurance will not normally cover parts of a motor vehicle. If you think about it, a dismantled car, say an original Elan, could be worth 20k in parts. Are the insurers really happy with that, I know you would need to add 20k to your household contents sum insured figure to get the cover but that would only bring them in an extra 60 - 100 pounds in premium to offeset a loss by Fire, Flood or Theft.

Please check this out and if it is true they will cover parts of the car detached or in storage please let me know. It would be useful to all of us with cars in bits. Yes that is me!

Kim
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Atthelimit
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Re: Cars undergoing restoration and their parts!

Post  dpr59 on Sat Mar 14, 2009 12:04 pm

Kim,

It be a while before I look at it.

Two reasons. I don't keep amny bits. A couple of fog lamps and an ignition amplifier is all I've got at the minute. Between SJ and Lotus Bits I can get things without much lead time.

Second, household policy not due until October.

But it might be worth a question for anyone due renewals, what if something happens to the car in the five boxes.
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Re: Cars undergoing restoration and their parts!

Post  Atthelimit on Sat Mar 14, 2009 1:04 pm

Hi,

Yep, that's my problem at the moment, not got a whole car but have mountains of bits. To be fair I'm not too worried about theft its a fire that would killl things for me. So fire extinquishers and smoke alarms everywhere!

kim
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