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GoCompare to offer excess protection policy

Written by: Emma Lunn
Drivers will be reimbursed up to £250 of excess in the event of making a claim.

Customers arranging car insurance through GoCompare are set to benefit from financial assistance aimed at reducing the cost of making a claim.

The price comparison site is giving away £250 excess cover to every customer who buys a qualifying car insurance policy. If drivers need to claim on their policy, they will be reimbursed up to £250 excess when their claim has been settled.

What is an excess?

The excess is the amount you’ll have to pay upfront towards any claim you make on an insurance policy.

For car insurance, there are two main types: compulsory and voluntary. These combined make up the “total excess”.

The compulsory excess is set by the insurer and will vary depending on several factors including the age and experience of the driver and the type of car insured. The voluntary excess is chosen by the policyholder. In general, the bigger the voluntary excess you choose, the lower your premium will be.

The amount of the excess will depend on the nature of the claim, for example, whether it is for fire, theft or accidental damage. Insurers will only process claims once the excess has been paid, whether the policyholder is at fault or not.

Millions of motorists caught out by excesses

Research commissioned by GoCompare found that excesses are among the least well-understood elements of car insurance. Excess-related terms came towards the bottom of a list of 16 common car insurance terms.

Just over a third of the drivers (35 per cent) surveyed said they bother to check the policy excess level when arranging insurance for their car.

The research also revealed that less than half (46 per cent) of drivers who have recently made a claim expected to pay an excess, while one in 10 hadn’t appreciated just how much they had agreed to contribute.

Lee Griffin, CEO and founder of GoCompare, said: “Policy excesses are a grey area for many people and, as a result, they can provide a nasty shock during a claim – a time when there is already enough stress. Our research has revealed that excesses could contribute to genuine financial hardship, with 37 per cent of drivers admitting that they don’t have the means to pay their excess or would have to turn to credit cards or loans.

“Whether you’re arranging insurance for the first time or renewing cover, it’s important to consider the total cost of the policy. This means looking at the amount you pay upfront by way of the policy premium, and the cost of the excess payable if you’re unfortunate enough to need to make a claim.”

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