Insurance News Round-up: The last 30 days in the headlines

Car covered in snowA quarter of motorists don’t slow down on slippery roads

After a succession of cold snaps it appears that a quarter of the country is suffering from brain freeze. A survey into winter driving habits has revealed that one in four motorists don’t change the way they drive to suit the weather conditions, and that includes slowing down on icy roads. The surprise findings showed the same percentage of motorists risked invalidating their insurance by leaving their car unattended with the keys in the ignition to warm-up. Even more worrying were the 50% of motorists happy to set off without defrosting the passenger side window. With more cold weather to come motorists are being urged to heed the Highway Code.

The end of the road for driving test fraudsters

Taking your driving test can be a daunting experience and with average pass rates just under 50% learner drivers have got every right to get a little anxious. However, some novice drivers have come up with a novel way of sidestepping test day nerves; by sidestepping the test altogether. According to government figures more than 40 people are caught using ‘impersonators’ to take their test every year. Putting road users lives at risk to ensure test success makes the mind boggle and is something the authorities take seriously. Anyone caught cheating is likely to lose their licence and could be prosecuted for fraud resulting in a custodial sentence.

 

Claims data shows doctors are the dodgiest drivers

One leading insurer has been crunching their data to find the professions most likely to make a car insurance claim and the results make for interesting reading. While healthcare professionals work tirelessly to keep the country fit and well; they’re also responsible for the most car claims. GPs were at the top of the list followed by hospital consultants and outreach workers. In fact, the only ‘non medical’ profession to make it into the top ten were (ironically) insurance consultants.

It’s pothole season again and breakdown providers are busy

Motorists up and down the country are having a bumpy ride as the number of breakdowns caused by potholes hits a three-year high. The record number of call-outs is surprising given the fact that we’ve had a comparatively warm and dry winter. Potholes are typically caused by freezing rainwater expanding to damage the road surface. Lack of investment may be partly to blame and with cold weather forecast the problem is likely to get worse. The most common complaints include shot shock absorbers, broken suspension springs and damaged wheels. Motoring organisations recommend drivers slow down on suspect roads and make sure you’ve got adequate breakdown insurance.

Men are paying £100 more for their car insurance despite EU gender legislation

As everybody knows calculating insurance premiums is all about calculating risk and male drivers are statistically proven to be riskier behind the wheel. Men aren’t involved in more accidents, but they tend to be at greater speeds which cause more damage and bigger insurance payouts. Until 2012 gender was a staple pricing factor when calculating premiums, but EU legislation sought to level the playing field by banning gender as a risk factor. Premiums levelled out almost overnight, but in recent years the gap has widened and now men pay over £100 a year more for their car insurance than women. So what went wrong? The answer seems to be that insurers have got smarter at identifying risk factors and certain key drivers apply more to males than females. Men tend to drive more miles (often for work) and prefer more advanced vehicles which cost more to repair.

 

 


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