CHESTER, England, June 8, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Continental car confusion reigns among UK motorists. When it comes to driving abroad, Brits are clueless about whether their existing car insurance will cover them on the continent, according to research by moneysupermarket.com.
With the holiday season approaching, many Brits preparing to hit the roads may find themselves with inadequate cover for the Continent with their existing insurance policy. Research revealed that a third of Brits (32 per cent(1)) think that fully comprehensive cover for the UK will also provide them with the same level of cover for Europe; but they could well be in for a nasty shock. A third (33 per cent(2)) believe their insurance is only valid for the UK, and a quarter simply don't know (23 per cent(3)). Another one in eight(4) say their comprehensive cover will automatically be downgraded to third party only while driving on European soil.
Britain's number one comparison website found many providers will automatically downgrade a fully comprehensive policy to provide only the minimum level of cover required for the country you are driving in - normally third party only. For example, both Marks and Spencer and Endsleigh honour their fully comprehensive policies for 90 days of driving in Europe, but other insurers automatically downgrade policies to the minimum level. Holidaymakers driving through several countries could also find the level of car insurance cover may vary considerably from country to country as a result.
Peter Harrison, car insurance expert at moneysupermarket.com said: "No-one wants their great motoring getaway to turn into an expensive nightmare so motoring Brits should not assume their existing cover is valid when driving abroad. A number of policies automatically downgrade as you soon as you hit continental soil!
"It's therefore crucial motorists study the small print of their policy, as their provider could automatically downgrade a fully comprehensive policy to either the minimum cover required for the country you are driving in or even third party only(2). If you were unfortunate enough to have a crash while abroad and were only covered for third party, you could be left with a hefty bill!"
The policy small-print also reveals how long the cover will last for – some policies will only last for 30 days for example, whereas others will provide unlimited cover (within reason) for driving on the continent.
Pete Harrison continued: "If your car insurance policy does automatically downgrade, it is worth checking whether your providers will allow you to upgrade or add on European car insurance as an extra. Motorists who regular drive abroad should consider policies that have a comprehensive cover for driving in Europe as standard or adding it on as an extra at the point of purchase."
Notes to Editors
(1) Opinium carried out a survey of 2,030 UK adults aged 18+, 25th – 27th May 2011
32% stated if they have fully comprehensive insurance to drive in the UK, then the save level of cover applies to Europe also
(2) 33% stated there motor insurance is only valid in the UK.
(3) 23% did not know about motor insurance and driving their car in mainland Europe
(4) 12% stated if they have fully comprehensive insurance to drive in the UK, this is automatically downgraded to third party insurance only for mainland Europe
Motor insurance providers that downgrade motor insurance policies for driving in continental Europe:
Churchill: 90 day duration, minimum cover required for country.
esure: 180 day duration, minimum cover required for country.
Direct Line: 90 day duration, minimum cover required by country.
Asda: 90 day duration, minimum cover required by country.
Swiftcover: 3 day duration, minimum cover required by country.
More Th>n: 45 day duration, minimum cover required by country.
Kwik-Fit Insurance: 60 day duration, minimum cover required by country.
RAC: Unlimited duration (within reason), third party cover.
Sourced by www.moneysupermarket.com 25.05.2011
Motor insurance providers that offer existing cover whilst driving in Europe:
Admiral: 30 day duration
Barclays: 60 day duration
Endsleigh: 90 day duration
Marks & Spencer: 90 day duration
Hastings Direct: 90 day duration
Budget: 60 day duration
Post Office: 60 day duration
The AA: 90 day duration
Lloyds TSB: 60 day duration
HSBC: 90 day duration
Halifax: 60 day duration
Sourced by www.moneysupermarket.com 25.05.2011
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