If you've car insurance underwritten by Gable Insurance, you'll need to arrange alternative cover before your policy is voided at the end of next week, following the company's slide into liquidation.
Liechtenstein-based Gable Insurance underwrites motor insurance, home insurance and liability insurance policies in the UK for firms that have included Sure Thing, Paragon and Towergate. Gable went into liquidation on 16 November – meaning thousands of insurance contracts will be cancelled as of 16 December.
If you've been impacted by the company's demise you'll need to find new insurance and those with car cover must act NOW.
This is because under UK law all drivers must have an in-date motor insurance policy – so it's vital that customers with a car insurance policy underwritten by Gable purchase a new policy within the next 10 days. Those with home and liability insurance policies underwritten by the firm should rearrange cover too.
A small silver lining for Gable policyholders may be that they'll not be left out of pocket, as the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) will ensure compensation for premiums and outstanding claims is paid.
Check out our Cheap Car Insurance guide for info on where to find a replacement policy at a good price.
How do I know if my policy is underwritten by Gable?
You may not be aware that your policy is underwritten by Gable – that's because the company operates via a network of independent brokers (ie, middle men).
When you purchase a policy through a broker, information about the company underwriting it should be available in the documentation you received when you first opened the policy.
If you're unsure if Gable is involved in underwriting your policy, you should contact your broker to check.
We've asked the FSCS for a list of companies that have previously sold policies underwritten by Gable and will update this story when we hear back.
What happens if my policy is underwritten by Gable?
If your policy has been underwritten by Gable, it will become void from 16 December. If it's a car policy, the first thing you need to do is make sure you've got a replacement policy lined up for when your existing cover expires, otherwise you could end up inadvertently breaking the law.
It's worth pointing out that you have the right to terminate your policy with Gable immediately and don't have to wait for it to automatically expire on 16 December before you purchase replacement cover.
In some cases, it's possible that brokers will simply transfer policies to another underwriting company – the AA did this when Enterprise Insurance went into receivership in October – so it's worth speaking to your broker first, to see whether this is its intention.
FSCS chief executive Mark Neale says: "Gable customers need to find alternative motor cover as soon as possible. The consequences of driving without insurance are very serious and we cannot protect you if you have an accident after the 16 December deadline. Please act now to avoid problems."
I paid upfront for my policy, will I be compensated?
The FSCS will be compensating customers for premiums that have already been paid.
However, while FSCS protection is unlimited, if your policy contains a financial limit the FSCS will have to apply that limit or other contractual terms. So make sure you check the T&Cs on your policy for anything that may impact your FSCS compensation.
What if I need to make a claim or have an ongoing claim?
If you have a pending claim, or will have submitted a claim before 16 December, you should receive your money via the FSCS.
The FSCS has said it's working on "a process to compensate eligible policyholders" and will publish an update "in due course".
We'll update this story when we know more, but in the meantime Gable customers who are pursuing claims and want further info should contact their broker or the 'trustee in bankruptcy', Batliner Wanger Batliner Rechtsanwalte, at email@example.com.
Does the FSCS have enough money to pay out to affected policyholders?
Yes. The financial services industry funds the FSCS through a compulsory levy.
Since 2001, the FSCS has paid out more than £26 billion to more than 4.5 million people.