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Car insurance – Ignoring this small print could cost you more or invalidate your premium

UK drivers could be making simple mistakes by failing to read the small print of their premium policy. 

Filling out a car insurance quote can be a tedious process with multiple screens, questions and options you need to provide information for. 

New research by Co-op Insurance has revealed that British motorists are becoming overwhelmed by the process. 

A whopping seven out of ten (69 per cent) of drivers admit to not properly reading their insurance documents when renewing to starting a new car insurance policy.  

More than half (55 per cent) of motorist are blaming an information overload as one of the main reasons for glazing over a premium. 

Of those surveyed 26 per cent deemed the content to be too boring and over one in five (22 per cent) blamed confusing language within insurance documents as one of the other main reasons for motorists swerving their documentation.

Surprisingly, it found that drivers aged 45-54 years old are the worst culprits for ignoring the details, with over three quarters (78 per cent) saying they don’t read their insurance documents in full.

In contrast for that, almost two fifths (37 per cent) of young adults aged 18-24 claim to read their insurance documents cover to cover.

Car insurance

Drivers can increase their car insurance premium or invalidate it by making simple mistakes (Image: GETTY)

Overwhelmingly, the vast majority (93 per cent) of motorists believe that insurers should do more to make these documents easier to understand. 

Some ways that skimming over certain aspects of the car insurance policy could cost them include by choosing the wrong class of use, choosing the wrong excess and not providing the correct job title. 

refers to what your car insurance premium permits you to do and what the restrictions are. 

There are three main classes of use which include Social, Domestic and Pleasure, Commuting and Business. 

car insurance excess

A higher excess could cost you more in the long run if you need to make a claim (Image: GETTY)

This type of cover refers to the vehicle being used by named drivers, for non-work-related driving only.

Commuting adds in the cover to your work but may not cover you driving to someone else’s workplace, so driving your partner to work could invalidate your premium. 

Business COU covers all of the above but also covers driving away from your place of work, for example, if you had to do deliveries for work from your office.

It is, however, the most complex of the types and differs from insurers, so it is worth checking your restrictions. 

In addition to this, if you do not change your title after you get married or if you provide an inaccurate job title then it could cost you more. 

car insurance errors claim

These simple car insurance errors could cost you when you go to make a claim (Image: GETTY)

Different jobs have different risks so tweaking your job title, providing it is still accurate, could save you cash. 

For example, you may work in a kitchen but not be a chef so specifying you are a kitchen porter or another job other than chef could save you cash. 

Another way you could cost yourself more cash is by choosing the correct excess. 

Opting for a cheaper premium may land you with a bigger excess which would not be an issue until you come to claim. 

Your premium may be £200 more expensive but you may have a £500 excess, whereas you could have a £300 premium with a £1,000 excess, which could cost you more in the long term.

Nick Ansley, Head of Motor Insurance at the Co-op says: “When it comes to insurance, clearly understanding what you’re covered for is really important and prevents complications further down the line.

“There’s a clear disconnect between customers and their policy documents, so we wanted to address this head-on by trialling new ways to deliver this information. 

“With these videos, we are taking steps to make insurance documents easier to digest, highlighting the main points of cover as well as the cost of the cover. 

“Through a more personalised approach, we believe we can create a more transparent relationship between us as an insurance provider and our customers.”

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