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Buckle in your pets or face having your car insurance claim rejected

Written by: Adam Lewis
Nearly one third of UK drivers are unaware their pets need to be suitably restrained when travelling in a vehicle, placing potential claims under threat if they are involved in an accident.

According to research from uSwitch, almost a fifth of drivers (19%) admit they have failed to secure their pet properly and have let them roam free in the vehicle. In addition to going against the rules of the road, letting pets roam free is also putting road users at risk, and if there is an accident there is the chance your insurer will not pay out.

The research revealed that more than one fifth (21%) said they had been distracted by their pet in the car while driving. Of those, 40% said they’ve taken their eyes off the road, while a fifth (21%) have even had an accident or near miss because of their pets.

One in six said they had to perform an emergency stop to avoid a collision after their pet caused a distraction.

Rather than using a suitable restraint suggested in the Highway Code, one in six drivers say they rely on passengers to keep hold of their pet while driving. A third (31%) let their pet stick their head out of the window, while 13% say their pet rides shotgun alongside the driver.

Rod Jones, an insurance expert at uSwitch, said: “As a nation of animal lovers, it’s surprising to see so many drivers taking such a relaxed attitude to their pet’s wellbeing, never mind their own safety behind the wheel.

“As much as we love our pets, remember that securing your furry friend when driving is a legal requirement. The last thing you’d want to happen is to suffer an accident and only then find out that your insurer may not pay out.”


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