With Easter approaching, new research from Gocompare.com Car Insurance has revealed that some of the most common equipment taken on family road trips may not be covered by their insurance policy.
The comparison site also found that failing to declare common accessories such as roof racks and tow bars could invalidate cover.
Roof racks and tow bars
Most insurers will consider roof racks and tow bars as a modification and will expect you to inform them of their presence, even if you have fitted them yourself.
Failing to declare modifications, no matter how minor could lead to any claim you make being rejected by your insurer, regardless of whether they played a part in the incident or not.
Children’s car seats
The use of a car seat is required by law for children under the age of 12 (or under 135cm tall). However, if the worst should happen, and the seat was damaged in an accident, Gocompare.com found that nearly a third (32%) of insurers will not cover the cost of a replacement child seat.
Analysis of 228 car insurance policies*, found that of those that do provide cover, the extent of car seat cover can vary significantly. Only three in 10 (32%) offering to fully reimburse the cost of seat following an accident, with around a quarter (25%) only paying out a fixed amount for a replacement.
For those with extra luggage or sports equipment, hitching a trailer to the back of the car can be an effective way of fitting everything in. However, Gocompare.com found that the vast majority (75%) of insurers do not cover attached trailers as standard.
Of the 228 car insurance policies examined, only a fifth (22%) offered trailer cover as standard, with a further (4%) providing it as an optional extra.
Matt Oliver, car insurance spokesperson for Gocompare.com, said: “If you’re planning on packing the car and going away this half term, be sure to find out what level of protection your insurance entitles you to and don’t make the mistake of assuming that the equipment you take, such as trailers, bikes or car seats will be covered as part of your car insurance.
“If you’re thinking of taking particularly expensive kit with you, it’s worth checking with your insurer that it’s covered or if you can add them as an extra to your existing policy. Though nobody wants to think about their trip being ruined due to an accident, knowing exactly what protection you have will make sure that you don’t face any unexpected financial shocks should something untoward happen.”
Notes to editors
* Defaqto Matrix of 228 car insurance policies - instant and unbiased market and competitor intelligence, from independent financial researcher Defaqto (correct as of 25nd March 2015)