The commitments from the UK’s biggest insurers and brokers representing 86 per cent of Britain’s insurance market comes into force on Armed Forces Day, and will benefit almost 265,000 people in the UK and abroad, including Forces families.
The change follows an Armed Forces Covenant roundtable at No. 10 Downing Street in January, which included Defence Ministers and representatives from the Association of British Insurers (ABI) and the British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA), which asked the financial services providers to recognise the needs of Armed Forces personnel in their products.
Up until now, members of the Armed Forces who are deployed overseas could lose their motor insurance no claims discounts when they return to the UK, meaning that experienced drivers who have never been involved in a road traffic accident end up paying the same high premiums as newly qualified drivers. They have also faced cancellation fees when posted overseas at short notice.
Service personnel and their families will no longer have to face these additional costs.
Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said:
When our Armed Forces are posted overseas to protect our country they can lose out from the discounts the rest of us take for granted. This is a welcome move from the leading insurers to help them get a fair deal. I look forward to further pledges from businesses to support the Armed Forces Covenant.
Commander Chris Franks who serves with the Royal Navy and is currently posted in the United States of America, said:
I am currently serving overseas for three years, accompanied by my wife Kim. Before we left the UK both of our motor insurers said that although we each had full no-claims discounts, they would only honour these for a maximum of two years; hence on our return to the UK we would be starting from scratch and paying in full for motor insurance despite having clean driving records.
The news that Armed Forces personnel posted overseas will in future be able to keep their No Claims Bonus for up to three years as a result of an agreement with the majority of British motor insurers and many brokers is very welcome indeed and a great example of the Armed Forces Covenant in action’.
James Dalton, Director of General Insurance Policy at the ABI, said:
People in the Armed Forces make a unique pledge to serve their country. UK insurers recognise this and have committed to allowing them flexibility with their motor insurance when they are posted abroad. It is important that Armed Forces personnel talk to their insurer about their policy particularly preserving their No Claims Bonus or any fees that might be waivered when they are stationed abroad.
Today’s announcement follows the previous Covenant pledge by the UK’s biggest high street banks to let Armed Forces personnel posted overseas rent out their homes without facing higher mortgage costs or having to change their mortgage.
Graeme Trudgill Executive Director at BIBA said:
We are delighted that our members are able to provide some additional flexibility to our Armed Forces. Not all insurers are able to provide the necessary features required for service personnel and clear signposting to specialist brokers who are able to provide the right level of cover will improve access. In addition to the commitment to the MOD, we do have members that can supply policies specifically tailored to serving members of the Armed Forces including ‘laid up’ motor cover when personnel are on deployment; full motor or home cover when ‘on base’; business driving use to enable personnel to visit more than one military base for duty purposes; and providing cover when personnel are based overseas.
Armed Forces personnel and their families can find out which insurers and brokers have signed up to this commitment by visiting the Armed Forces Covenant website or the ABI’s website
They can also call the British Insurance Brokers’ Association on 0370 9501790 or can contact insurance companies individually.