LETTING & ESTATE AGENT

2.4 million drivers at risk of not getting a claim paid

2.4 million drivers at risk of not getting a claim paid

Up to 2.4 million people in the UK could find themselves not fully covered if they have an accident according to research by independent market research firm Consumer Intelligence.

One in 12 drivers (8%) admit to giving incorrect information to insurers, meaning that there insurer could partially or completely invalidate their claim in the event of an accident.  In addition an insurance company may cancel their insurance and that would make it almost impossible to buy insurance in the future.

The research asked what consumers lied about and found that 9% changed their home address and 10% gave a lower annual mileage estimate. Nearly one in six (15%) weren't truthful about where they park their vehicle overnight and 14% didn't disclose the correct number of points or convictions they had on their licence.

Consumers also confessed to giving incorrect information to home insurers and had particular difficulty in estimating the value of their property. A third (33%) of all consumers admitted to guessing the value of their contents and a further 20% think they're only accurate to within £5,000. Fortunately, many insurers base the value of contents on the number of bedrooms in the property, but still require the consumer to disclose the value of particularly high value items such as jewellery or works of art.

When asked about why they gave wrong information, six in 10 (60%) culprits said they did so in order to get a lower premium. One in five (20%) said they made a mistake or didn't know the answer, 9% said the insurer's system forced them to give an incorrect response, and 5% wanted to reclaim money paid previously for expensive premiums.

Ian Hughes of Consumer Intelligence said:  "Many consumers are struggling financially and it is understandable that they would want to try and cut their bills wherever they can. However, if they do not provide the right information to insurers they are putting themselves at risk. If they make a claim they may find that the policy won't pay out because the information they provided doesn't add up.

"One of the key principles of insurance is ‘utmost good faith'. That isn't just for insurers; it is really important that consumers play their part in this.

"When it comes to insurance, it is far better to shop around for the best deals to reduce the cost rather than risk giving wrong information which could not only invalidate the policy but also be viewed as fraud."

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George Bailey