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Motorists not checking insurance small print

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Written by:
09/05/2008

Thousands of UK motorists not reading the small print on their insurance policies are running a major risk of not being covered to the extent they think they are, according to Swift Cover.

The research found British drivers to be extremely confused as to what is and isn’t covered by their insurance. For example, while eating and smoking behind the wheel might not be a criminal offence, many drivers are not aware that they could be accused of negligence if involved in an accident while smoking or eating, resulting in a drastically reduced payout.

Hopping behind the wheel of your partner or friend’s car might seem like a perfectly acceptable thing to do – indeed 29% of drivers polled assumed that they would be insured through their own insurance.

In fact, most car insurance policies only insure drivers if it’s included in the small print, and rarely offer more than third party cover.

Not telling your insurer when you exceed your mileage can also invalidate your policy. The poll showed that a quarter of motorists didn’t know whether driving over their stated mileage would affect their insurance cover- while nearly a fifth stated that it wouldn’t.

Tina Shortle, spokesperson for Swift Cover, said: “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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