Brits in Cruise Control With Continental Car Insurance Cover

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

CHESTER, England, June 8, 2011 -

- Brits Are Unaware Whether Their Car Insurance Covers Driving Abroad

- Check Your Policy Detail Before Setting off on Holiday, Warns

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 (

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

Peter Harrison, car insurance expert at
( 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

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 25.05.2011

    Motor insurance providers that offer existing cover whilst driving in

    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 25.05.2011

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