In an increasingly cost-conscious market, Defaqto compares the newly-released Norwich Union Just Car product against similarly marketed 'value' motor products, as well as a comparison of direct providers of annual travel insurance

With the increase in consumer debt and the apparent uncertainty in the future of the economy, wise consumers are looking to reduce their outgoings by purchasing high value, yet low-cost, insurance products.

One area where savings can be made is with multiple cars in a family.

Many families have more than one vehicle in active use. Insuring each vehicle comprehensively can be expensive. For smaller, lower-value vehicles many people choose third party, fire and theft or third party only cover to save money.

There are a small number of products on the market that cater for vehicles which could be considered in between comprehensive and third party, fire and theft cover.

These policies offer accidental damage and, therefore, fall within the comprehensive bracket. However, they are able to offer less expensive premiums by dropping or reducing indemnity limits for auxiliary areas of cover, such as personal effects or personal accident benefits.

These products are generally aimed at mid- to low-value vehicles, just above the threshold where accident damage could be repaired, rather than immediately declared uneconomical, as with real low-value cars.

Norwich Union (NU) has launched a new private car policy into this market via brokers.

Just Car is available only via electronic data interchange. It is the first comprehensive "value product" to be launched since Eagle Star's Silver Policy last year, and will compete against only a handful of other similar products available to brokers.

Defaqto has analysed the Just Car policy in comparison to these similar products.

Key features of the Just Car policy include:-

  • New car replacement cover

  • Unlimited audio cover (£250 for non-manufacturer fitted equipment)

  • Audio cover includes fixed car phones

  • Access to NU's club claims assistance service

    Drawbacks when compared to the other "value" products in the table include the fact that the policyholder does not have the option to pay for extending cover for foreign use beyond the minimum EC requirements.

    Annual travel products

    With the possible saving on the motor policy it is certainly worth spending the extra money on an annual travel policy.

    In some cases, even if only two holidays a year are scheduled, there is still a saving to be made over a comparable single trip product.

    Many of the products enable the customer to delete the baggage section and rely on their household insurance to provide this element of cover, thus increasing the saving made.

    We looked at a range of products from a number of well known direct providers and compared them against the recently revamped Sainsbury's Bank product underwritten by St Andrews Insurance.

    On the criteria selected, the Sainsbury's Bank product is the cream of the crop, although in such a fiercely contested marketplace the differentiation across the major providers' products is quite small.

    Key features of the Sainsbury's product include:

  • £500 single article limit for baggage.
  • Up to £1,000 for additional accommodation expenses if the insured misses his departure on the outward or return leg of a journey
  • Up to £300 for physiotherapy treatment when the insured returns to the UK
  • Up to £500 for costs incurred in replacing the insured's lost or stolen passport
  • Up to £500 for additional kennel or cattery fees if the insured's return to the UK is delayed due to their injury or illness while on the trip
  • £10m of medical cover.
  • Drawbacks associated with this product include the fact that baggage claims are paid on a wear and tear basis and an excess applies to each section claimed under per incident, per person.

  • Defaqto's first Annual Home Insurance Report will provide a breakdown of the whole UK market and highlight the best home insurance products on the market.
  • NOTES:

  • These charts use Defaqto's unique Data Numerical Analysis (DNA) scoring system
  • DNA illustrates the relative positioning of a product based on selected criteria
  • The criteria used in this chart are a representative sample only and may not be relevant in all cases
  • Other criteria are available and may give different results
  • When used to match products to a client's circumstances, DNA can show how closely a product matches those requirements.
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