An article in the Daily Mail advises”Greedy firms push up prices for motorists involved in a crash – even if it WASN’T their fault! “
Insurance firms are hammering accident victims with higher charges
One upped a quote by 39% after claim in which the driver was blameless
Campaigners say spiralling premiums are ‘hard to take’ for motorists
Motorists involved in a crash that was not their fault are seeing their insurance premiums soar by up to 40 per cent.
An investigation has found that sneaky insurance companies are hammering accident victims with higher charges.
One big insurer increased its quote by 39 per cent after a claim in which the driver was blameless.
Esure increased its premium by 15 per cent after a scratch was declared, even when a claim had not been made.
Campaigners said the spiralling premiums would be ‘hard to take’ for motorists who pride themselves on driving carefully. One described insurance companies as ‘masters of ripping off’ their customers when they renew their policies.
Their fictional driver was a married woman in her mid-40s, with low annual mileage, five years’ no-claims discount and a clean driving history.
Esure increased its quote by 39 per cent from £612 to £849 after a claim was added where the driver was blameless but their insurer had to pay.
More Than and Rias also raised their quotes by 33 per cent and 29 per cent respectively.
Even in a scenario where repairs had been covered by the other party, four out of 12 insurers increased the premium.
The quote from More Than went up by 33 per cent, Esure by 17 per cent, AXA by 14 per cent and Admiral by 11 per cent.
The findings angered Marc Gander from the Consumer Action Group.
‘This is extraordinary and profoundly unfair,’ he said. ‘Why would the not-at-fault person bear any responsibility? These firms are not treating their customers fairly.’
Which? said only a fifth of the 1,281 UK drivers it surveyed understood the insurers’ interpretation of ‘fault’ and ‘non-fault’.
A spokesman said: ‘Insurers don’t view “fault” like normal people do. If someone damages your car, your premium can rise, even if you’re blameless – and even if you didn’t claim.
‘Regardless of whether you’re to blame for the actual incident, you will be regarded as “at fault” if your insurer has to pay for it.’
This would apply, for example, to motorists whose car was hit by another driver while parked and the driver could not be traced.
A claim is considered ‘non-fault’ if your insurer hasn’t ultimately incurred the costs – for instance if it is able to recoup its expenses from the other driver’s insurer.
The damning findings emerge less than two weeks after insurance companies were ordered by City watchdog the Financial Conduct Authority to tell drivers how much their premiums have risen on renewal.
For years companies have quietly increased premiums, with customers losing out unless they seek out a new quote.
The new rule covers car, home, pet, health and travel insurance. Experts said it could save customers around £1billion a year by switching firms. It is a major success for the Money Mail campaign that exposed the renewal racket.
Responding to the Which? investigation, Guy Anker, from consumer finance website MoneySavingExpert, said: ‘Insurance companies are masters at ripping you off at renewal and rely on customers’ apathy. Whatever the circumstances never automatically review your policy or you’ll almost certainly be fleeced.’
Responding to the quote given following a ‘scratch’, an Esure spokesman said: ‘This was reported as an incident, which would include a wide range of different scenarios.’