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    • Young drivers risk becoming 'Accidentally Uninsured' through lack of knowledge

14 July 2009

Young drivers risk becoming 'Accidentally Uninsured' through lack of knowledge

- 49% put cover in someone else’s name
- 21% don’t declare speeding points
- 44% think a personal policy covers driving for work

New research reveals many young motorists are invalidating their insurance cover, risking fines and breaking the law, by misunderstanding the small print on their policy.  The Autoglass poll of 3,000 drivers reveals a worrying lack of knowledge among all age groups about what can invalidate their insurance.  But it is young motorists aged 25 and under who are most at risk of becoming ‘accidentally uninsured’ and creating a menace for other road users.

Half (49%) of young motorists think putting their car insurance in mum or dad’s name is a perfectly acceptable way to bring the cost of their cover down. But not being truthful about who is the main driver of a vehicle can invalidate the entire policy. 

48% would not report minor incidents to their insurer if they don’t intend to make a claim.  But insurers say that any incident should be reported, regardless of whether the policyholder intends to make a claim, and failing to so could void the cover.

A third (30%) of young drivers mistakenly believe that a fully comprehensive policy on their own car automatically means they are insured to drive a mate’s set of wheels. But in many cases young people under 25 are only covered to drive their own, insured vehicle and not any other unless they are a named driver. 

One in five (21%) do not declare any driving offences if they total less than six points on their license as they don’t think they have to.  However insurance companies could take a dim view of such information being withheld.

Over a quarter (27%) of young motorists don’t think they have to tell their insurer if they move house or change the address of where the car is normally kept but this can jeopardise a policy.  And more than four out of 10 (44%) wrongly think a standard insurance policy automatically covers them for both personal and business use of their vehicle, which is very unlikely to be the case.

Nigel Doggett, managing director of Autoglass says: “It is vital that all drivers take the time to understand the detail of their insurance policy to ensure they fully comply with its terms, and this includes providing accurate information in the first place.  Finding out too late that you have become ‘accidentally uninsured’ is a serious issue.  Not only is it likely to prove expensive, it is also against the law to drive on the roads without a valid car insurance policy.”

Malcolm Tarling at the ABI says: “All motorists need to make sure they understand what is and is not covered by their insurance. But if any motorist is unsure the golden rule is check your policy and if necessary talk to your insurer or broker so that you can drive with the confidence that you are covered.”

The research identifies the top five misunderstandings among all drivers that are putting their insurance cover at risk:

1. Putting the policy in someone else’s name
2. Not reporting minor incidents
3. Believing insurance automatically covers business as well as personal use
4. Believing a fully comp policy extends to any vehicle
5. Not telling an insurer about a job/career change

Autoglass is the UK’s leading vehicle glass repair and replacement service, with 109 branches nationwide and 1,200 mobile service units.  For details of your nearest centre call 0800 36 36 36  or visit www.Autoglass.co.uk.

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