Policies often include gaps in coverage for personal effects and exclusions for courtesy cars.
Research by whom? found that drivers can be left behind in situations where they thought they were covered by their insurance, but they are not.
Car trouble can be financially disastrous if you’re on a low income or have limited savings, especially if you rely on the car for work – so comprehensive car insurance coverage is essential.
But when which one? analyzed 73 elements of auto insurance across 49 policies from 34 insurers, it found that some issues faced by many drivers are not covered by a significant number of policies.
Almost all policies contain personal effects coverage, which helps you repair or replace damaged or stolen loose items in your car.
But which one? found that not all goods are included. Only two policies examined protected cash and documents and only three covered credit cards. Four out of 10 policies (40%) with personal effects cover excluded cell phones.
Legal expense coverage can provide invaluable access to legal advice and funding, but which one? says he can turn out to be toothless in some scenarios.
It found that only a quarter (24%) of policies will pay you to recover illegal clamping or towing costs, while only three in 10 (31%) will help you with legal costs related to plate cloning. registration of your car.
Almost all car insurance policies come with courtesy car cover as standard. But only a fifth offer a temporary replacement vehicle if yours is stolen, and only a fifth do so if it’s written off.
The rarest feature offered by insurers is guaranteed coverage for driving other cars. This type of coverage is useful if, in a pinch, you need to quickly borrow a friend’s car.
While almost all policies Which? reviewed have a ‘drive other cars’ section, in all policies except NFU Mutual this is not automatically available to all policyholders.
Drivers of certain ages (usually under 25) are generally excluded from this cover, as well as those in certain professions – and in more than a third (37%) of policies it only applies in “emergency “.
Seven policies out of 10 (69%) Which one? surveyed offered help in case you fill your gas tank with diesel – or vice versa – but only one in five (18%) will help you with both emptying the tank and repairing the engine. Half (51%) of politicians do one or the other.
Which? surveyed more than 1,800 policyholders who made a car insurance claim in the past two years and asked them if they were satisfied with their provider. It also analyzed the standard policy of each rated company.
NFU Mutual tops the charts with customers praising the insurer’s ability to deal with issues and value for money. His total score was 86%. Other top performers include LV (78%), Saga (78%) and Direct Line (76%).
The lowest scores were Admiral (63%), Hastings Direct (65%) and Aviva (66%).
Jenny Ross, which one? The editor of Money, said: ‘Our research shows that motorists risk facing hefty bills when things go wrong because a lot of policies don’t cover the incidents or property you might expect. With the very high cost of living, this means car problems could be disastrous for people on low incomes or with limited savings.
“We urge drivers to read the fine print. If you’re comparing two policies at similar prices, the bills you can rack up from falling foul of car insurance loopholes could dwarf the extra amount you’d pay for the more expensive coverage.
“Anyone who isn’t happy with how their insurer has handled a claim should always shop around when it’s time to renew. You could save hundreds of dollars by switching insurers, while still getting the coverage that’s right for you.