Ask A Broadsheet Reader



Martin Jackson writes:

I am having a dispute with my car insurance handler Axa insurance. I have an ongoing damage claim with them since December 2016 and they are still not taking responsibility to repair the damage done to my vehicle. They requested I have some mechanical work carried out on the vehicle before they would do any body work repair.

I have had the required mechanical work repaired and put my car through the NCT. The NCT only failed my car on broken body work. I phoned my insurance to inform them the work was done to which they told me having an NCT certificate isn’t enough evidence and that I had to contact a mechanical engineer to do a full assessment on the car.

My main problem here is why am I paying for a national car test (which is Irish government standard car safety testing) if my insurance company does not recognise this as a valid report for a vehicle’s road-worthiness?

My insurance is €1250 and I have had to pay for my insurance since December without having a road-safe car to drive and they haven’t honoured my insurance policy.

Surely this is a national issue that insurance companies do not accept the NCT?


46 thoughts on “Ask A Broadsheet Reader

  1. Geoff

    Make a formal complaint in writing, pointing out that your next step is the Ombudsman.
    That usually greases the wheels of bureaucracy.
    You could also use a Public Loss Adjuster?

  2. Bob

    They are not the only ones.
    I tried to get a quote from Aviva for my own policy with several years as a named driver, claim free, under my mothers policy, fronting, I believe its called. The policy was with Aviva for the last 2 years or so. Aviva refused to quote me, saying that as a company policy, they are not taking on new customers who don’t have their own no claims bonus.
    Its also well known that the Insurance industry doesn’t rate the NCT, and a lot of companies wont insure you based on your risk and cars 12 years old or more.
    How long will we be waiting on the government to produce their findings on motor insurance, and how many years will we be waiting on anything to be implemented?

      1. Topsy

        Bob. The answer my friend… is to take the “Aviva driving test” as my daughter did. If you pass Aviva will then i sure you.

        1. Bob

          I asked that question. I was told that its only applicable for those that passed their test within the last 5 years.
          Does your daughter have to use the tracking app?

          1. Topsy

            Bob. On passing her test and getting her Ist insurance in her own right she was with Axa for one year and used the tracking app. She was promised that her premium would be reduced if after one year her “scores” were satisfactory. She had one year of exemplary driving, all “scores” exceeded 90%, but her premium did not reduce. She then did the Aviva test & her insurance came down to €650 from €1100 with Axa. It stayed around the same last, but I’m dreading what it might rocket to when it is due for renewal in Oct. Mine went up by 77% on renewal quote​ in March even though I never had a claim in 30 year. I switched to – very reasonable. Charlie Weston of Herald financial matters fame recommend them. They cannot refuse to quote men. Good luck.

    1. Spaghetti Hoop

      Interestingly, insurance companies are not obliged to provide you with insurance, no matter how much money you throw at them. They can turn down who they like based on risk. As I used to shop around every year, the companies will also change their risk threshold as often as their pants so one may reject to quote you one year but are all palsy walsy the next.

  3. Brother Barnabas

    Should be a state-run scheme that we all pay into for cover on everything. Would be more transparent, more efficient and would put an end to effective pillaging of consumers by carrels.

    *ducks down*

  4. Sheik Yahbouti

    AXA! HAAAAAAAAAHAHAHA. By the way, I’m insured with them. We hear about Insurance fraud – the biggest Insurance fraud perpetrated in this country is against the ordinary motorist by this Government and the Insurance clique.

    1. Junkface

      Insurance companies get away with ridiculous amounts of extortion in Ireland. This just does not happen in the rest of Europe.

  5. Daisy Chainsaw

    Haven’t gotten a car NCT’d since the early noughties because it’s a scam and a monopoly. In 15 years, I’ve only been asked about it once at a garda checkpoint and that was last December. I told them I had an appointment coming up in January. I’ve changed cars, but was only going to get scrappage value on them anyway.


      Thing about not having your car nct’d is…if your in even a minor ‘fender bender’ thats not your fault, if your insurance co do a bit of digging, not only will you insurance be void, the person who hit you could claim for damage to their car because essentially your not legally supposed to be on thre road.

      1. scottser

        this. which makes the OP’s point more knicker-bunching – they’ll use your lack of NCT against you but won’t acknowledge if you have a cert in your favour.

  6. Spud1

    Had something similar happen to me.
    The wife rang up looking for best renewal price.
    Aviva had against her account that they needed a road worthiness test and they wouldn’t accept the NCT – and they wouldnt renew with her unless she got it done.
    This was an annoyance, as they were quoting a few hundred cheaper than anywhere else!

    Managed to login online and renew the policy anyway! :D

  7. Anuletka

    I put my car through the NCT on Tuesday. Passed with no issues whatsoever. On Thursday he head gasket blew out and the car was not fit to get me back home.. That’s how reliable NCT is. I don’t defend he insurance companies, far from it! I do however understand why NCT is not deemed reliable.

    1. Rugbyfan

      exactly, the NCT is a tax on vehicle owners,,,,,
      we should all march on this. Mr. Murphy et. al rally the comrades!

      1. nellyb

        “The NCT is a compulsory vehicle inspection programme in Ireland. The primary aim of this programme which falls under the directive 2009/40/EC, is to improve road safety and enhance environmental protection by reducing harmful vehicles emissions in Ireland.” – ‘vehicle inspection’, ‘read safety’ are self-explanatory and it is written in plain english. Enough ‘Murphy’ turrets already.

    2. AlisonT

      They would have to take your engine apart to inspect the head gasket. Why would they pick up on that with the tests carried out?

      1. Daisy Chainsaw

        Exactly. It keeps them from the really important safety aspects, like having your county name written as gaeilge in tiny writing on your reg plate.

  8. shitferbrains

    How could the NCT forecast the failure of the head gasket ? It’s Mystic Meg you need for that.

    1. Anne

      mystic meg or maybe a mechanic like they are at NCT centres.

      A head gasket would have a fairly big crack on it before it’d blow.

        1. Anne

          So you’re saying a doctor couldn’t tell if you’re on your last legs and you’re about to clap out altogether…coz you look okish..gotcha.

    2. Spaghetti Hoop

      There’s a really cool App called ‘Askit Gasket’ (free for iPhone). What you do is pop the hood, take a photo, upload to the app plus age of car, annual mileage and so on and and you get a full diagnosis on it’s durability.

      Ok I’m kidding.

      1. Increasing Displacement

        Bet that app would sell anyway even if you had the “Ok I’m kidding” discaimer

    3. Anuletka

      Can’t agree with that comment. Went to the mechanic with it couple months earlier who said: drive it until it stops, no point fixing it. I put through the NCT as it expired and car was still driving. I really did not expect it to pass. Maybe that’s the point guys that NCT checks are not checking what they should be checking… My car was not fit for the road.

      1. Anne

        shoulda gone to mystic meg for a reading of your car’s future road worthiness and have her look into her crystal ball to see what’s under the hood..

  9. Increasing Displacement

    Need to stop every tom thick and harry claiming whiplash so

    Lad i know drove his Yaris into a parked bus…at a low speed that he was totally uninjured, everyone got off the bus didn’t feel it, and the car had damage to front and bonnet.

    bus driver claimed whiplash and got 25k

    after speaking to people I know working in insurance the amount of these claims are ridiculous
    not defending the filth insurance companies though.

    Why do we have an NCT if people dont take it seriously?

    1. scottser

      so why are they paying out? in the uk the nsurance companies pay for treatment costs and loss of earnings, they don’t give you a huge wedge to blow on coke n hookers.

          1. Spaghetti Hoop

            Ha! Seriously though, ya don’t need coke and hookers to blow your compo money on. Spot the guy in your local pub slowly pssing away his insurance money / inheritance.

    2. Boj

      It is possibly and in all probability cheaper to settle than to defend.

      Rock=insurance companies paying out for ‘whiplash’ – pushing up policy prices
      Hard Place=legal costs in Ireland

      ‘We’ are somewhere in the middle there.
      I wonder if someone brought insurance companies to court over this extortion and lost would they get the majority of their costs covered by the state? I wonder…

  10. Fitzitagain

    But the NCT is not an engineering report on your vehicle. It is only an inspection of certain minimum safety and environmental standards a car must meet. An engineers report will provide the professional opinion of a qualified engineer, not a 15 minute tick the box test.

      1. Boj

        I’d assume all here know this also. The point I took is that the car was a matter of hours from a catastrophic failure but still got a cert…from an ‘institution’ whose motto is blah blah road safety, mumble mumble environment.

  11. ahjayzis

    Insurance Traditional:
    An arrangement by which a company or the state undertakes to provide a guarantee of compensation for specified loss, damage, illness, or death in return for payment of a specified premium.

    Insurance Redefined;
    Go fupp yourself.

    I’ve always hated their “redefining standards” tagline. If you can redefine standards you’re not being held to any standard but your own. Which is illegal A and B doesn’t inspire confidence.

  12. Topsy

    Car insurance is mandatory ( rightly so). However it means that a small cartel of insurance companies in Ireland can ride every driver in the state and there’s nothing one can do about it. It’s as simple as that

Comments are closed.