Insurance iniquities

Sir,

I would like, through the columns of your magazine, to reply to Mr. David Pratt whose letter quoted in the December issue referred to the hit and miss methods of Insurance Companies in determining the market value of a vehicle at the time of total or constructive total loss.

He is obviously unaware that all insurance companies and brokers offices engaged in the transaction of motor insurance have access to an excellent monthly trade guide which quotes the current market values "trade and retail" of every car on the roads at this time. Although this is only a "guide" the prices quoted are based on a vehicle in average condition and with an average annual mileage for the make and model in question. It follows therefore that in the event of a total or constructive total loss the insurance company would pay the equivalent market value of a similar make and type of vehicle at the time of loss up to but not exceeding the sum for which the vehicle was originally insured by its owner. Furthermore if the vehicle is in above average condition by reason of additional work carried out and the fitting of various extras etc., Providing such bills and receipts are retained by the owner then such factors would be taken into consideration when determining a total loss settlement figure. The whole object of insurance is to place the motorist in his pre--accident condition neither making a profit or a loss as the case may be. I can only suggest therefore that if Mr. Pratt feels that he is paying an exhorbitant premium for something he is not likely to receive should he suffer a loss, then he either seeks the services of a qualified insurance broker or changes the one he already has forthwith.

Thank you for an excellent magazine, best wishes for the New Year and particularly to "Jenks" whom I last saw in the "Island" holding down Eric Oliver's chair and with the magnificent beard approximately half an inch from the road surface at the 13th milestone those were the days. With kind regards.

Sutton, Surrey J. M. BARKER

(Mr. Pratt was referring to insurance valuation on older cars, in his own case a Jaguar 3.8 Mk.z. Presumably Mr. Barker's "monthly trade guide" is Glass's Guide, which does not deal with cars of any great age; its Jaguar valuations commence in 1968. We don't know of any guide which keeps accurate track of the values of cars which are or are becoming collectors' cars, appreciating in value, like the 3.8 Mk.2. -Ed.)