Which? warns drivers over insurance catchesAnd one pitfall could leave you pursued for fraud

05 March 2008

Hands on car steering wheel

Which? Legal Service lawyers are warning drivers of the pitfalls in ‘comprehensive' car insurance.

Drivers contacting the service are finding the cover doesn't always live up to its name. Small print exclusions on major items such as windscreens, windows and tyres can add up to hundreds of pounds.

Cover that seems like a bargain may turn out to exclude such items, or may come with a high excess, so you pay more in the long-term if you claim.

Main driver

It's important to check conditions on the policy proposal. For example, it might insist that the car is garaged overnight. If you don't do this and your car is stolen during the night, the insurance company could refuse to pay out.

The person named as the main driver on the policy must also be the vehicle owner.

If they're not, the insurer can not only refuse to pay out on a claim, but could even pursue you for fraud.

Driving to work

And people can be caught out over how they use the car - a ‘social, domestic and pleasure’ policy doesn't necessarily cover you for driving to and from work.

If you were using your car to commute regularly, you'd need to change this clause to read ‘to and from a permanent place of work’.

Which Legal Service lawyer Monica Jaimini said: ‘A "comprehensive" policy might sound like it covers everything, but always read the small print to make sure you know what’s included and what you’ll have to pay in the event of a claim.’