How can you check the pedigree of your Gap Insurance provider? This is a question that is often asked, and the steps you can take to find out are really quite easy and straightforward. Many people are worried about buying Gap Insurance, especially online, but follow these easy steps and you will find out all you need to know.
Checking you Gap Insurance provider
Sounds easy doesn’t it, but actually, a Gap Insurance policy can be ‘provided’ by a number of different companies. Lets look at them in detail:
A The Retailer – this could be the motor dealer who sells you the vehcile, or the insurance broker online. You have to ensure that they are registered with the Financial Services Authority (currently). You can check this simply by going to the FSA Register at www.fsa.gov.uk/register. You can either enter the company name, or better the FRN number that is unique for their registration. They will be able to supply this for you.
Check the ‘trading name’ by clicking the ‘names’ tab on the menu
Check how long they have been registered. Whilst there may be nothing to fear with a fresh registration of six months or less, but they have little track record in order for you to assess their performance.
Check their disciplinary record – should be a clean bill of health
Check their company registered address – is it a virtual office, or indeed a residential home. This can give you an indication of the size of the company you are dealing with.
Away from the FSA register, is your Gap Insurance provider a registered data controller with the Information Commissioners Office? To be so they have to adhere to strict guidelines at to how they can use and process your information. Check www.ico.gov.uk for more details.
Is the Gap Insurance retailer a memeber of any trade organisations or bodies. Again, this can mean they have strict rules they have to stick to, and targets to meet. Membership of the British Insurance Brokers Associationis always good to see.
B – the Administrator – this is the company who will most likely handle any claim you make on the policy. It is important to make the same checks as above, and also to see who else they perform the function for. A larger company may well be better equipped to handle your claim more effciently.
C – the insurer – now this possibly should have been listed the other way around. The insurer is the company who underwrites the policy ultimately, and therefore is the most important aspect of any Gap Insurance policy in our opinion. Take the company name, and put it into Google. Find out who the company is, how big are they, do they underwrite any other large brands? If they do, then large compnaies and brands do not normally allo their names to be associated with poor underwriters.
Make sure also that the policies are covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, just in case the insurer was to fail. Gap Insurance is normally taken over an extended period of a few years. Ensure this scheme is in place just in case your Gap Insurance provider was to cease trading.
Other aspects to check with your Gap Insurance provider
We all like to hear from people who have used a service before, so we often check internet forums for information about certain firms. However, bear in mind that the internet can be manipulated quite easily. Many SEO firms offer ‘reputation management’ schemes for companies, and this could include false testimonials on the net.
We all like to get confidence in others using a Gap Insurance service, but check the details listed above, and you can get an unbiased view from the official bodies on the companies you are dealing with.
Finding details on how to buy gap insurance is easy enough, but checking your Gap Insurance provider is not so difficult either!