A recent Gocompare.com survey highlighted the topic of “fronting.” This is where the parent of a young driver puts him/herself down as a named driver to reduce the insurance premium. Not only is this illegal, it also invalidates the policy. However, around 16% of respondents admitted having done it, with a further 38% stating that they would do so in the future.
This got the team at PetrolPrices.com thinking about what else people do to keep their insurance premiums down, including actions that are illegal and would thus invalidate the policy. One such action is to lie about your occupation, as nobody ever checks this information (though we’re not sure that doing so is illegal). Another is to avoid reporting minor accidents.
PetrolPrices.com conducted a survey of our own this week to investigate the scale of unreported accidents. The results were extremely revealing.
Survey reveals alarming trend
We asked members if they would inform their insurer about every accident, or knowingly withhold information about an accident if they knew that doing so would keep the cost of their premium from going up.
72% of respondents said they would inform their insurer about every accident that happens.
We then asked whether they knew it was illegal not to inform their insurer of every accident. An astonishing 28% of respondents claimed they were unaware of this.
Interestingly, 41% said that they would avoid telling their insurer about a minor bump or scrape if they knew it would make their premium go up.
Alarmingly, 18% went so far as to state that they would withhold information from their insurer if it meant a lower premium, even if they knew they legally had to report it.
The results suggest that many people are unaware of what they need to report to an insurer. This implies that there are literally thousands of unreported accidents occurring every year.
A risky business
Although it may seem like a good idea to try and keep premiums low, not informing your insurer about a minor accident could damage your wallet more in the long run. If an insurance provider finds out you have withheld information from them, your future premiums (from them and any other insurer) will skyrocket.
Not only that, but failure to report an accident is a criminal offence. It carries a maximum fine of £5,000 and a possible five to ten points on your licence, depending on the circumstances. The courts can also disqualify a driver if the offence was in conjunction with failure to stop, or leaving the scene of an accident.
With such severe potential consequences, it is shocking that so many drivers are unaware of how and when they need to inform their insurer when it comes to minor accidents. It is crucial that you report any form of accident you have been involved in to your insurer. In addition, it’s important to understand the relevant terms and conditions of your insurance policy. Each insurer has different rules concerning timeframes and what constitutes an accident. If in doubt, it’s better to over-report than fail to report.
What do you think about these findings? Is it worth taking the risk to keep your premiums down? What do you think is the difference between a minor or a major accident? Let us know in the comments section below.
Image Credit – Pixabay