Young drivers lost when it comes to understanding car insurance

31st July 2018

  • Almost a third (29%) of young insured drivers aren’t confident they understand what their car insurance covers them for
  • A quarter (24%) also admit they wouldn’t take out car insurance if it wasn’t a legal requirement
  • Almost a fifth (20%) incorrectly believe they can drive the cars of family members with comprehensive insurance and still have the same level of cover

UK insurance broker Swinton Group has found almost a third (29%) of young insured drivers (aged 18 to 24 years old) aren’t confident they understand what their car insurance policy covers them for and around a quarter (24%) wouldn’t take out car insurance if it wasn’t a legal requirement*.

The survey of 2,000 GB adults, undertaken by YouGov for Swinton Group, reveals that the lack of confidence amongst these young drivers could mean they are at highest risk of being refused claims on their car insurance.

Almost half (47%) don’t feel confident that they would know what to do if they were hit by an uninsured driver, while almost a fifth (19%) believe they could drive the cars of other family members with a comprehensive insurance policy – and still have the same level of cover if they had an accident.

Over two fifths (41%) of these young drivers also falsely assume they don’t need to tell their insurer if they paid for damage to their car themselves - compared to a quarter of all insured drivers.

Meanwhile, more than one in seven (17%) young insured drivers incorrectly believe learner drivers don’t need to be insured to drive, which could leave many learners at risk of a hefty fine or losing their provisional license – compared to 11% of insured drivers overall.

Some insurance terms also left younger Brits dumbfounded, with a quarter (24%) of those aged 18 to 24 not knowing what a No Claims Bonus was.

As a nation, UK motorists overall were shown to have blind spots in their knowledge when it came to their car insurance policies too - even those with age and experience on their side.

More than one in 10 (12%) Britons admitted to not being confident in understanding what their insurance policy covers them for and almost one in 10 (8%) said they wouldn’t take out car insurance if it wasn’t a legal requirement.

Even those aged over 55 do not appear to take their car insurance seriously. More than a fifth (22 per cent) said they considered travel insurance more important, and nearly one in 10 (9%) classed pet insurance as more important.

Mike McGrail, Senior Product Manager at Swinton Group, said: “When it comes to driving, feeling confident in your skills behind the wheel is paramount, but it’s also really important to feel assured on your paperwork too – particularly the details of your insurance policy.  

“Our research has uncovered a worrying lack of confidence in car insurance cover, especially amongst younger drivers. Although many may think this is a less important element of car ownership, the simplest misunderstanding can leave drivers at risk should they need to make a claim.

“We know there’s a long road ahead of us to get drivers to feel confident they understand the ins and outs of their car insurance policy. As an industry we need to do more. That’s why we are on hand to help drivers understand the terms of their policy and offer guidance on the insurance claims process, whether they are a Swinton customer or not.”



*All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc.  Total sample size was 2,117 adults, of which 1,390 were insured drivers and 69 were insured drivers aged 18-24. Fieldwork was undertaken between 24th – 25th May 2018.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).

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