Alpha insolvency

Alpha insolvency leaves thousands of drivers without insurance

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Thousands of drivers in the motor trade have been left without insurance after Alpha, a Danish firm offering UK policies via brands Cover My Cab and Protector, was declared insolvent in midweek. The news means tax drivers responsible for scores of private hire vehicles in the capital now don’t have the appropriate vehicle cover.

The Licensed Taxi Drivers Association (LTDA) said it moved quickly to notify any drivers affected but the developments highlight just how important it is to select the best motor trade insurance policy with a reliable and reputable insurer. Drivers have six months to make any claims for accidents in the run up to the firm’s insolvency and will now be eager to choose a new policy to ensure they are covered when out on the road.

“We have notified all of our members about this change, to ensure that no-one is unintentionally driving without insurance,” the Licensed Taxi Drivers Association (LTDA) General Secretary, Steve McNamara said. “We will be supporting any of our members that may have been affected.”

In other news, motor trades must do better in outlining their own obligations when selling car finance options to drivers, according to Alphera Financial Services who released a new study about the practice earlier this week.

The study found that two-thirds of motorists are not aware that salespeople should offer clear and relevant information and guidelines tailored to a customer’s needs and requirements when the latter is buying finance. This information asymmetry can be detrimental in the long term as customers are left in the dark about certain aspects of the deal, which can affect loyalty and retention.

More than 1,035 car owners were asked about finance as part of Alphera’s UK wide consumer survey. The majority of motorists said they did not know that dealers have a legal obligation to talk through repayment obligations, and more than half said te same when it was put to them that terms, conditions and additional charges should also be outlined at this time.

“The deficit, between a dealer’s obligations and customers’ awareness of their rights, means sales staff must clearly explain every aspect of a finance product, and properly assess the customers’ needs,” Alphera Financial Services marketing manager, Gerry Kouris said. “If dealers can address this gap and offer total transparency, they can empower customers to make an informed decision, giving them confidence that a finance product is truly appropriate for them. In the long term this approach will foster greater customer loyalty and more sustainable income for dealers.”

Alphera, an independent motor finance division within the BMW Group, has got in touch with the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) to talk about the issue of transparency and both parties are working on a new accreditation scheme to overhaul and improve the entire process. The first assessments for the scheme are set to take place this summer.

“The accreditation scheme aids self-regulation to support compliance with Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) rules and guidelines,” Kouris added.

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