Car Advice

Alarms may HIKE car insurance premium

By Dan Jones Published

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PARKING your car in your garage and having a burglar alarm at your home can INCREASE the cost of insurance.

When taking out car, home and travel cover there are a host of factors that put up prices, and other twists that could catch you out, a study by consumer watchdog Which? found.

Insurers should be making their policies easier to understand

Insurance policy documents can be confusing and important information is easily missed when they stretch to the size of a novel.

Which? gathered hundreds of quotes from the biggest insurers to find unknown quirks and ­exclusions that affect the price you pay. With many people admitting they only skim-read terms and conditions, discovering exclusions often comes at the worst possible moment.

Harry Rose, editor of Which? Money, said: ­“Insurers should be making their policies easier to understand.

“Companies that are burying tricky and restrictive terms in documents aren’t playing fair.

“If customers don’t feel they’re getting a clear and transparent deal, they should vote with their feet and go elsewhere.”

Below are some clauses identified by Which? that could catch you out.

Some clauses for concern

Some insurers think the streets are safer than your garage: Two thirds of ­people expect a driver keeping their car on a driveway, instead of a garage, to pay more for their car insurance.

But Which? found that some premiums increased by as much as 23 per cent when insurers were told that the vehicle was locked in a garage overnight.

 Single parents could face penalties: Some insurers changed their home insurance prices when quotes were obtained for a single mother of three, rather than one living with a partner.

Aviva charged an extra 21 per cent (£91) when this was changed.

Burglar alarms don’t bring big savings: Having a burglar alarm fitted to your property doesn’t make your home insurance any cheaper.

In fact, Which? found insurer More Than charged £1.24 more for having one.

 Insurers don’t like banana boats but bungee jumps are OK: A fifth of travel insurers refuse to cover accidents caused by banana boats, as it is listed as an extreme sport, compared to 12 per cent who didn’t cover bungee jumping. A quarter offered no cover for sea-kayaking.

 Your boiler may not be covered in summer: Some 45 per cent of people surveyed thought home- emergency cover would protect them year-round. But data from financial research firm Defaqto shows 11 per cent of policies with central-heating protection have an exclusion period ranging from May to September.

 European travel insurance does not cover all of Europe: You may expect it to cover Cyprus, Spain and Turkey but many insurers ask holidaymakers to take out separate insurance to cover these countries, largely due to possibilities of higher medical costs.

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