A survey of almost 3000 British motorists carried out by high street broker Swinton showed that many who hold comprehensive car insurance are not sure what their cover entails, with only 33% of those in question spending 30 minutes or less on researching different policies on the market.

30% admitted that some of the answers they gave when applying for insurance might not be entirely accurate, and a quarter of those survey will only skim read their policy.

Richard Beaven, Distribution Director at Swinton Insurance said: “We were surprised at just how little attention is being paid to policy documents by motorists, and concerned that so many guestimate answers. The problems this can cause usually only come to light when you need to claim, which can be a difficult time without the added headache of finding you’re not appropriately covered. Not only that, but mistaken claims drive up the cost of motor insurance for everyone – not just those directly affected.”

Beaven’s concerns were only validated by the research results, which showed that only 1 in 10 of those who’ve made a claim in the last three years on their comprehensive policy were happy with the result.

As for general assumptions made around car insurance, the figures were not much more encouraging. One in three drivers who had purchased a comprehensive policy believed they have full coverage when driving someone else’s car, with 14% not knowing either way. In fact, this feature is specific to factors such as a drivers age and experience, and is not automatically included as standard on a comprehensive insurance policy. When another driver is covered, it is for third party only.

4 in 10 drivers believe they will not have to pay any excess if another driver deemed to be at fault, although in some circumstances this can be reimbursed further down the claims process.

Despite the name, third party fire and theft doesn’t automatically cover a vehicle regardless of its location at the time of the theft, yet over half of the motorists in questions either believed that it does or weren’t sure. If for example a policyholder states that their car is kept in a garage overnight and it’s stolen from a public car park, then the claim may not be upheld.

Beaven noted that the survey results showed gaps in car insurance knowledge that the industry collectively needed to fill,

“As an industry, we need to be doing more to help educate motorists about key policy areas to empower drivers to make the right decisions about their individual insurance needs. This will go a long way to providing peace of mind for the nation’s motorists and ensure more affordable premiums.”

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