Car Insurance for CFR Members
As you know all CFR members must inform their car insurance provider that they are a first responder. The letter for this is available here: Insurance Confirmation
While many of our members have had positive responses from their insurers, some CFR members have been told that as a result of being a volunteer community first responder their car insurance must be changed to a business class of use, or in some other way modified and that an additional charge will be levied for this. Others have simply had no response at all.
In some cases different responders, each with the same insurer, have received different answers. I have been in contact with several of the insurance providers in an attempt to get a definitive policy statement. I sent the confirmation letter linked above to each company and asked them for
“an official statement as to what policy type your company will require to meet the criteria set forth in the letter attached along with a clear statement as to whether any increase in price for that policy will be charged as compared to the quote they can get through their broker or online at your web site. This will remove confusion for members of community first responder groups.”
The following table shows the results of our requests:
|Company||Response||Extra Charge||Statement from the company or their underwriter|
|Responded||No Extra Charge||If a customer of 123.ie is using their car for volunteer work, this is covered by their regular Social, Domestic and Pleasure Purposes policy. As they are volunteering, we do not need to change the usage type to Class 1, which covers for business use (as long as the business, or clients job description does not include the carriage of passengers or goods for hire or reward), and this does not affect the overall policy premium.Please be advised, that the equipment that is being carried in the car is not covered.Once we have been notified of this usage, we can issue a letter confirming cover as a volunteer worker.We thank your for interest in 123.ie for your insurance needs, and I hope this information has been helpful. If you have any further queries, please contact us on 1890 231 123 or email email@example.com|
|Responded||No Extra Charge||I have done some research on this and have established that we have already insured a number of people who are participants in the First Responder Programme Given activities are voluntary we took a decision some time ago that Social Domestic and Pleasure (Class 1) was sufficient and we do issue a Letter of Indemnity for the HSE in these cases.We transact business on a Direct basis and also through the Insurance Broker channel.I can only categorically confirm the position outlined above for business written through our Direct channel as in my experience messages can get lost in translation where there are Third Parties involved and broker may give one of your participants the wrong message. If we do however get specific requests for cases through the broker channel we will of course be consistent with our approach.Participation in the First Responder Programme is a material fact in terms of a motor insurance contract. Given that is somewhat unusual our website will not be able to cater for this. Participants should therefore ring our office (or their broker) if they are seeking a quote.
Finally I do need to point out that like all insurers we have standard acceptance criteria which any First Responder Programme participant must fulfill before we will provide a quotation.
FDB & No Nonsense
|Responded||No Extra Charge||I wish to confirm FBD Insurance Plc and No Nonsense Insurance provide the Indemnity for All Community Cardiac First Responder volunteers on our private motor policies where requested at no additional cost to our Insured.|
|Responded||No Extra Charge||I can confirm that Liberty Insurance is happy to cover customers who volunteer as a member of the First Responder scheme under their private motor policy.We will provide cover under the terms of their existing policy to use their vehicle while acting as a volunteer as long as the following conditions are met:
We also confirm that we will not require customers to upgrade their class of use to carry the first aid equipment and therefore no additional premium will be charged for this.
|Responded||Maybe Extra Charge||We underwrite risks on an individual basis, treating each individual policy on its own merits. The individual factors and underwriting considerations used would include among others, the persons driving experience, their previous claims history, the duration they have held their licence, what they use their private car for and the area of use. As a consequence we are unable to give you a generic reply on how we would approach an unspecified risk without knowing the individual factors attaching to the policy.I sent a further e-mail:I understand that each policy is considered individually. As I mentioned before I’m not looking for a quote or an analysis of how any particular quote will be handled. I am asking this:
Considered in isolation, the fact that a policy holder is a community first responder will or will not be the reason that they will be considered ineligible for a regular domestic policy and required to purchase a class 1 or class 2 business use policy. For example, if a quote is given based on the information provided by a driver on a website and subsequently that driver adds the information that they are a first responder, all other information remaining unchanged, will the quote remain valid?
No further reply received as of 6/6/2014
|Responded||Maybe Extra Charge||As One Direct is underwritten by Aviva they forwarded the same non-answer from Aviva. (See above)|
This information is exactly as received from the particular insurance companies. Any insurance company wishing to add to this list or correct any aspect of this information, please contact me by e-mail.
As a result of the above posting I received the following from Wicklow CFR
Wicklow Cardiac First Responders formed in 2004 and is the umbrella organisation for the 32 Community First Responder (CFR) Groups in County Wicklow and. We have appox. 350 members. All our groups are linked to and are dispatched by National Ambulance Service. All CFR schemes linked to NAS must comply with the NAS Community First Responders “Policies & Procedures”. One requirement of the NAS policy is that all CFRs group members must inform their Motor Insurance provider that they are a Community First Responder and they must receive confirmation that they have done this either by letter, email or stated on the Motor Insurance Policy.
There is absolutely no problem with any of the Motor Insurance Companies we have dealt with over the last 10 years, they know about us and assist us and we are very grateful for their support. Our scheme cannot operate without their cooperation. From time to time new motor insurance providers enter the market or insurance brokers or employees in the call centres with, may not be familiar with CFRs and there can be a delay, but once we engage with them and the details are explained, CFRs get the confirmation letters.
There is no charge for this notification and do not pay for it. No insurance company charges for it and tell them that if they try to.
The easiest time do get this confirmation is when CFRs are renewing their motor insurance policy. However when members try to enter the details after the policy has been issued, the Insurance Company may try to charge for this service at this time, as they see it as an amendment, it is not an amendment. There is no need to amend anything, CFRs only require a confirmation notice. Again do not pay for it.
Some motor insurance companies think it is necessary to upgrade the CFRs insurance from “social and domestic” insurance to a class 1 insurance. Again this is not necessary, CFRs are not unlike any sports Club or local community activity that an “Active Citizen” would be involved in, except we are required to inform our Motor Insurance provider and provide confirmation of same.
When seeking this confirmation from the Motor Insurance Company, please inform your members that they are not seeking indemnity. In fact don’t mention the word “indemnity”, it frightens Insurance Companies. All that is required is that the CFR inform their insurer that they are a Community First Responder Volunteer and from time to time they may drive to a house in their locality (obeying the rules of the road at all times) to assist neighbours, friends, relatives and other people in their community who maybe having an heart attack, suffering a stroke or in Cardiac arrest and are awaiting the emergency ambulance, keep it simple. If they were not a Community First Responder, as a neighbour they would probably go to help anyway. The Motor Insurance Company may send a letter to confirm that they have been informed or an email or if it is stated on the policy that will suffice.
Some points to note:
- This easiest time to get a confirmation letter is when you are renewing your motor insurance policy.
- Some CFRs elaborate too much and ask for equipment to be insured, this is not the case. If equipment insurance is required, take out a separate policy, you will/may be charged for this.
- Some CFRs elaborate too much stating that will be on calls night and day, in all weathers, winter and summer. Again, this will not be the case and will set alarm bell off.
- At the moment you cannot request the confirmation letter, if you book your motor insurance on line. Often a better deal can be had when booking on line but the CFR will need to contact the Motor Insurance Company directly to obtain the conformation letter. This may change.
- CFRs with commercial motor insurance can have some difficulty as they are only meant to use their vehicles for work, not for social and domestic purposes . However if they negotiate at renewal time they can get it sorted.
- If you are dealing with the underwriters directly, the call taker generally cannot make the decision, so ask to speak to or send an explanatory letter to the customer service manager.
- Do not give up or give in.
- We (Wicklow CFR) have a special arrangement with 123.ie. We negotiated it some years ago. If you are dealing with 123, we have a special procedure and a draft letter.