Common misconceptions include the belief that fully comprehensive insurance covers you to drive other vehicles.
Around nine in every 10 drivers believe at least one ‘myth’ about car insurance, according to new research published today. A study of 2,000 British motorists by price comparison site Confused.com found 90 percent of respondents believed in one or more of the 10 most common misconceptions about their car insurance.
Arguably the most worrying assumption was that fully comprehensive insurance covers any driver over the age of 25 to use another vehicle. Almost a quarter (24 percent) of drivers thought this was the case, although modern insurance policies tend not to include such cover. Any driver caught driving a vehicle they are not insured to drive could find themselves on the receiving end of a £300 fine and between six and eight points on their driving licences.
Other drivers risked invalidating their insurance by failing to declare convictions. More than two thirds (68 percent) of motorists with a past conviction said they didn’t tell their insurer because it was “no longer valid”, with 63 percent deliberately failing to tell their insurer to avoid a higher premium. More than a third (34 percent) of those who refused to tell their insurer did so because they didn’t think the convictions were “fair”.
According to Confused.com, insurers will normally ask for convictions from the past five years, regardless of whether or not they have expired. Some convictions are wiped from your licence after four years, but Confused.com advises drivers to tell their insurer if it falls within the five-year time frame. Failure to do so risks invalidating cover.
As does failing to tell an insurer about an accident, even if it’s a small bump and you decide to pay for the repairs yourself. It’s a condition that more than one in 10 drivers (13 percent) are unaware of, but it can impact your cover.
The research also suggests drivers are attempting to lie about their vehicle use in a bid to reduce their premiums, although Confused.com says some of these attempts may backfire. For example, more than a third (34 percent) of people who took third-party cover did so because they assumed it would be cheaper, despite Confused.com saying some insurers raise their insurance costs for third-party cover because of the number of higher-risk drivers who sign up for these kinds of policies.
Similarly, more than a quarter (26 percent) of drivers who didn’t declare business use when they should have claimed they did so because they were worried about the price. However, Confused.com says insurers often assume people who use their car for business have more to lose if they damage it, so they are likely to take better care of it. That means prices may not increase.
And one in 10 people quizzed (10 percent) said they thought their renewal quote would always be cheaper than last year’s, despite Confused.com research showing 77 percent of drivers who received their car insurance renewal in the past three months saw their price increase by an average of £44.
“The rules around car insurance can be confusing, which is why it’s important for drivers to separate fact from fiction,” said Alex Kindred, car insurance expert at Confused.com. “Believing that not telling your insurer about a conviction or risking driving someone else’s car could cost you a lot, both financially and legally.
“We know there are a lot of things to consider when purchasing car insurance, and it can be difficult to know what’s a requirement or not. So we’ve taken a deeper look into some of the most common car insurance myths to help drivers stay on the right side of the law and avoid significant fines.”
The top ten car insurance 'myths'
- You’re automatically insured to drive other cars if you have a comprehensive policy
- Your renewal price is cheaper than the prices your insurer offers to new customers
- Keeping your car in the garage means lower insurance costs
- Driving for business use means higher prices than social or commuting use
- Once you reach 25 your premiums fall dramatically
- Third-party cover is cheaper than comprehensive
- Non-fault claims won’t affect your insurance costs
- You’re always guaranteed a courtesy car if you have an accident
- I don’t have to tell my insurer about convictions that are no longer on my licence
- Your insurance covers you for any accident that you cause