VIDEO: Family struggle to find insurer for nine-seater car

A father of seven has revealed the lengths he has had to go to in order to have his family car insured, and said he felt discriminated against because of his family size.

VIDEO: Family struggle to find insurer for nine-seater car

Liam Coleman, from Belgooly, near Kinsale, Co Cork, said that having spent two weeks trying to get his family’s nine-seater Volkswagen Transporter insured, a broker finally secured a deal with an insurer who had rejected Mr Coleman’s attempt to get insurance directly off the company.

Video: David Keane

Mr Coleman told The Neil Prendeville Show on RedFM that he feared his family would be left without the use of the vehicle after a number of companies declined to offer him a quote.

“It is a unique vehicle, but we were constantly refused quotes on the phone. We were up in the air for the last two weeks and then our insurance lapsed,” Mr Coleman said.

He said he has not had the car modified and that it is as it was when he bought the vehicle.

“The insurance was going and KennCo, the company we were actually insured with, won’t underwrite nine-seaters anymore because of the size of the car. They weren’t going to give us a quote so we had to go into the big wide world then and actually ring around. I couldn’t believe some of the insurance companies who will not quote,” he said.

“They were telling me to go to brokers, which I found amazing. I thought if you rang them directly, you’d get a better deal but we were told, ‘go and talk to a broker, a broker would be able to get you a better deal than ringing directly’.”

Mr Coleman said both he and his wife have clean drivers’ licences and have never claimed from their car insurance.

“It’s the complete stress of it. She’s driving, she’s never had a claim against her car insurance, she has a full driving licence, I’m the same. I’ve never had an accident or a claim. It’s just because of the size of the vehicle.

“This car is taxed privately, the tax on it is over €1,000 a year, because it’s a 2.5-litre diesel engine inside of it. It’s NCT’d, it’s the same as a normal road vehicle. But because we have seven children, which probably is a bit unique in this day and age, I felt like it was discrimination,” he said.

Mr Coleman said he finally secured insurance from Aviva insurance having gone through the McCarthy Insurance Group, who secured him a quote that was cheaper than his previous premium.

“I called Aviva directly and they wouldn’t quote me on it. I can understand brokers probably do have a bigger sway with insurance companies, they probably have dealings with them and do a lot of business through them,” he said.

“I didn’t worry about what it was costing as long as the car was insured and the family is safe. But you’re still getting refused insurance quotes then. It’s stressful enough to actually do it, you’re doing it online and it’s even more stressful.”

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