Car insurance could be jeopardised by myths

12 May 2008 / by Rebecca Sargent
Thousands of UK drivers risk invalidating their car insurance by relying on urban myths and failing to read the small print on their insurance policies, according to Swiftcover.com.

The research, on behalf of swiftcover.com, found that Brits are failing to take note of what is and what is not covered by their car insurance. Common mistakes included eating and smoking while driving – many insurance policies would claim you were negligent for doing these and refuse to pay out.

Despite this, the study showed that 65 per cent of drivers eat whilst driving and 36 per cent admitted to smoking but did not realise that this would affect their cover. Because these actions are not against the law, drivers assume that it will not make a difference to their insurance, according to Swiftcover.com.

The research also showed that when it came to driving other people's cars, 29 per cent of drivers asked said that they had driven a friend's car and assumed they would be insured under their own insurance. However, according to Swiftcover.com this is rarely the case, and if it is then it will rarely offer more than third party cover.

Another common misconception is that miscalculating the annual mileage will not affect car insurance cover, when in fact it can. According to the study, a quarter of drivers did not realise that failing to notify an insurer when the annual mileage is exceeded will invalidate the policy.

It is also a myth that car insurance will provide cover for putting the wrong fuel in the tank. According to Swiftcover.com, thousands of people do this every year and ten per cent of people questioned assumed this would be covered, when it is not.

Swiftcover.com's Tina Shortle commented: "While choosing the lowest price car insurance policy is most people's objective, it is also important to know exactly what is and isn't covered. Drivers make a lot of assumptions about their policies, so it's best to read all terms and conditions carefully and to regularly review the terms."

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