Industry reinforces commitment to its customers

01 June 2009 #SMMT News

Motorists get additional assurance as Vehicle Warranty Product Code completes first stage of OFT Code Approval Scheme


Industry reinforces commitment to its customers


Motor Codes is proud to announce that the Motor Industry Code of Practice for Vehicle Warranty Products has completed Stage One of the Office of Fair Trading Consumer Codes Approval Scheme, adding further peace of mind for UK consumers.


Currently administering over three million products for cars, including 1.75 million warranties, this latest development confirms the motor industry’s willingness to safeguard the interests of its customers by helping them identify responsible providers of these services.


The Motor Industry Code of Practice for Vehicle Warranty Products commits subscribers to increasing consumer protection by setting new standards for non-insured warranty products including pre-sale information, cancellation rights and protected claims funds by offering:


·         Peace of mind cover

·         Products written in clear English

·         No high pressure selling

·         Providing written summaries of the key contract terms

·         Simple, straightforward claims procedures 

The Code covers the following products: 

·         Mechanical Breakdown Insurance

·         Guarantees and Extended Warranties

·         Roadside Assistance

·         MOT Insurance

·         Tyre Insurance

·         Key Insurance

·         Guaranteed Asset Protection (GAP)

·         Vehicle Replacement Insurance (VRI)

·         Return to invoice Insurance (RTI)


“This is not only good news for consumers – the industry can also take great heart from the fact that yet another code of self regulation embraced by the sector is proving it can meet the tough disciplines laid down by an official independent body,” said Motor Codes director Chris Mason. “The Vehicle Warranty Product Code is yet another example of the way in which responsible businesses can demonstrate their commitment to delivering open and honest service.”


Warranty Direct is among the leading players in this market as a major provider of direct automotive warranties and has confirmed it will be adopting the Code and managing director Duncan McClure Fisher said, “Thanks to our work and initiatives such as that of Motor Codes Limited, car warranties are now a mainstream product and we are delighted to subscribe to a Code that adds to the credibility of the warranty market.”


Car Care Plan, one of the world’s leading providers of vehicle warranty, GAP, MOT & Tyre insurance products is also committed to the success of the Code. Graham Whiley, group head of compliance for Car Care Plan said,Car Care Plan is delighted to have been involved in the drafting of this Code of Practice. It’s about reassuring customers that they have the same degree of protection regardless of whether they’re buying an insurance contract or not. And there’s a new, fast and fair independent complaints procedure for those who feel let down.”


The Motor Industry Code of Practice for Vehicle Warranty Products is to join the family of self regulated codes of practice administered by Motor Codes and will be publicly launched in July.


Background to the Code


·         The SMMT Code of Practice for Mechanical Breakdown Insurance Schemes (MBI Code) ran from 1990.

·         By 1999 and following the introduction of Insurance Premium Tax (IPT) the majority of the MBI Code members were providing non insured warranty schemes alongside conventional MBI warranties. Non insured warranties were not covered by the Code.

·         OFT endorsement removed from Code with the introduction of the new OFT Consumer Codes Approval Scheme (CCAS) under the Enterprise Act 2002.

·         Non insured warranty sales have continued to increase following the introduction of general insurance regulation by the Financial Services Authority.

·         Following launch of the SMMT New Car Code of Practice in 2004 SMMT members decided to develop a Code to replace the MBI Code.

·         Between 2005 until 2009, the new Motor Industry Code of Practice for Vehicle Warranty Products was developed with MBI Code members and in line with the OFT CCAS. Stage 1 approval was achieved on 23 May 2009.

·         The scope of the new Code was extended to include non insurance backed extended warranties to raise levels of consumer protection. The Code was also extended to cover Service contracts (guarantees/extended warranties), Roadside Assistance, MOT Insurance, Tyre Insurance, Key Insurance, Guaranteed Asset Protection (GAP), Vehicle Replacement Insurance (VRI) and Return to invoice Insurance (RTI).

·         The Motor Industry Code of Practice for Vehicle Warranty Products will be publicly launched on 14 July 2009


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