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Young motorists are ‘clueless about car insurance’

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Young drivers risk having to fork out large sums of money because they don’t understand their car insurance policy, research warns.

A survey by GoCompare found 65 per cent of 18 to 24-year-olds buy insurance on price alone and less than half (47 per cent) check cover levels.

The comparison site probed young drivers on their understanding of 15 common insurance terms.

Only a third of motorists understood ‘social, domestic and pleasure’, which covers normal day-to-day driving but does not cover commuting or using your car for business.

Using your car for the wrong class of use can invalidate your cover, and your insurer may refuse to pay a claim.

In addition, few young drivers understood policy excesses – so were unaware of the financial contribution they’d have to make in the event of a claim.

Drivers under 25 are usually required to pay a young driver excess on top of their policy’s compulsory excess. But only 36 per cent of those surveyed knew what a compulsory excess was, and 31 per cent understood the term ‘voluntary excess’.

Of those who had recently claimed on their insurance, a fifth hasn’t realised they would have to pay towards the cost of the claim.

Lee Griffin, chief executive and founder of GoCompare, said: “Insurance is an essential element in driving.  Not only is it a legal requirement to hold insurance, in the event of an accident, it provides financial protection for vehicle damage and, injuries to passengers, other drivers and pedestrians.

“Insurance policies differ wildly in the amount of cover they offer.  So, when arranging cover price shouldn’t be the only factor you think about.  It’s vitally important to pick a policy that suits your needs and personal circumstances.  Otherwise, you could find yourself without cover when you need it most.”

GoCompare is currently offering customers – no matter their age – free excess cover.  Drivers will be able to claim back up to £250 towards their excess if they need to make a claim.

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