Scientists continue to argue about the effects of global warming but the general consensus is that the world’s weather pattern continues to be extremely unpredictable, whatever the root cause may be. From abnormally high temperatures prompting out of control wild fires ‘down under’, to unseasonally heavy rainfall and severe flooding throughout the heartland of the British Isles, meteorological disasters can strike anywhere without a great deal of warning. And more often than not we have to stand back and suffer the consequences – or do we?
With the winter months usually being the traditional time to put any spare time to industrious use in the garage and workshop fettling away on a laid-up restoration project, it makes sense to check what insurance cover is place in case disaster does strike. We’re already being warned about the possibility of a harsh winter to come and the consequences of a heavy snowstorm or strong winds bringing a garage roof down on top of an uninsured classic that’s registered SORN (Statutory Off Road Notice) doesn’t bear thinking about, but it does happen.
In cases such as this, a household insurance policy would only cover damage to the garage roof and adjoining structures. The insurance company would expect any damage to the car caused by the roof caving in to be covered under a separate motoring policy. It’s no good relying on a household contents insurance policy either: Unless special arrangements have been made to insure valuable components removed from a project for long term storage, a contents policy will only cover items such as tools and equipment, not an uninsured restoration project.
As we saw last month, prolonged periods of heavy rain often result in flash floods swamping a residential area very quickly and without much warning. Imagine how frustrating it would be to have nearly finished a very expensive restoration, only to open the garage door and find a foot of filthy water slopping around in your pride and joy’s freshly carpeted footwells. Unfortunately, if the car’s not insured it’s down to the owner to repair any damage to the vehicle, a bit like watching hard earned cash go down the drain with the receding floodwater.
If you’ve got a project on the go and it’s currently on SORN and is sitting in the garage or workshop without a current insurance policy, it’s worthwhile contacting one of the classic car insurance companies and enquiring about taking out an accidental damage, laid-up, fire and theft policy as a minimum cover while the car is off the road. Laid-up policies even cover restoration projects in transit to and from a specialist repairer and cover can be easily converted to a comprehensive road risk policy once the car returns to the road.
With the price of metal at an all-time high, quite a few stored project vehicles are ending up on the scrapyard’s weighbridge. This is a major concern if the lock up where the car is stored is located a distance away from the main residence. No matter how many locks are fitted to a garage door, a determined thief will always be able to gain access and snatch what’s inside when the coast is clear. Regular checks on a vehicle’s well-being and a laid-up policy are essentials for total peace of mind.
Accidental damage, laid-up, fire and theft policies are competitively priced and are very often overlooked, or in many cases, not even considered. Even if a project car will be on SORN for quite a few years before it returns to the road, it makes sense to protect it under a laid-up scheme as the policy can be amended as the vehicle’s value increases when various aspects of the restoration are completed.
Although it’s not a legal requirement to insure a vehicle when it’s registered with the DVLA on SORN, an agreed value insurance policy is sensible, and when compared to the overall price of a restoration, won’t break the bank – in fact it could be the best investment ever made.
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
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