LONDON — A new study of 15001 motorists has found many could be risking their insurance cover by not informing their insurer if they had a minor accident. In the study by LexisNexis Risk Solutions, 58% of motorists said they wouldn’t inform their motor insurance provider about a minor accident, if repairs cost less than their policy excess.
Only 21% of consumers would ‘definitely’ or ‘probably’ report a minor incident to their motor insurance provider. In addition, only one in three (33%) would report a minor, non-claim incident involving another vehicle.
The terms and conditions of most motor insurance policies require that any accident or damage to the vehicle should be notified to the insurance provider. Failure to inform the insurer of the accident could result in the policy being cancelled. While some consumers simply won’t be aware of this stipulation, the findings suggest fear over premiums rising could be a reason motorists keep minor accidents to themselves.
While 52% of motorists said they would not expect providers to take account of a minor, non-claim incident when pricing insurance, of those who do think there would be an impact on price, 60% expect premiums to increase and only 8% think a decrease would follow in return for ‘honesty’.
Concern over the consequences of declaring an accident increases with age. In the survey, 62% of those aged 45 to 54 and 68% of those aged 55 and over would probably not or definitely not report a minor accident compared to 39% of 18 to 24 year olds and 51% of those aged 35 to 44. Motorists who have not made a claim within the past five years and those who have never made a claim are even less likely to report such an incident.
Meanwhile, younger consumers are more likely to report this type of incident to their motor insurance provider: 42% of the younger age group would do so, compared to only 15% of consumers in each of the two oldest age groups.
James Burton, Product Director, LexisNexis Risk Solutions, UK and Ireland, says: “Our findings are symptomatic of the challenges that exist in motor insurance right now with new customers often priced differently to existing customers, creating a disconnect in how loyalty is recognised. Consumers understandably feel nervous declaring information that could result in premium increases. This is a real concern as many motorists could be invalidating their policy, when instead they need to look at the bigger picture where factors such as the size of the claim, driving history, fault and policy details more often determine premium increases after claims.”
LexisNexis® Risk Solutions harnesses the power of data and advanced analytics to provide insights that help businesses and governmental entities reduce risk and improve decisions to benefit people around the globe. We provide data and technology solutions for a wide range of industries including insurance, financial services, healthcare and government. Headquartered in metro Atlanta, Georgia, we have offices throughout the world and are part of RELX (LSE: REL/NYSE: RELX), a global provider of information-based analytics and decision tools for professional and business customers. For more information, please visit LexisNexis Risk Solutions and RELX.