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Road Traffic Accident - What isn't covered by your car insurance

When it comes to looking for car insurance, most of us know the basic differences between a comprehensive and third-party fire and theft policy and to make sure to check the levels of excess that go along with the policy. But beyond that, how many of us spend time studying the terms and conditions included in the policy documents? Often these documents can run to over thirty pages of legal statements and terminology outlining what the policy does and doesn’t cover, it’s enough to make you go cross-eyed, but it’s all important information that shouldn’t be taken lightly. If you’ve never studied your policy documents, you might not be aware of just what is and isn’t included. Based on the average Comprehensive car cover in the UK (one that typically provides a higher level of cover); should you be unfortunate enough to be involved in an Road Traffic Accident we’ve pulled together a few of the lesser known exclusions of your car insurance policy…   

Other uses
When you fill out your insurance application you’ll answer a couple of questions about your usage such as annual mileage and what you use the car (e.g. social and commuting, business use by you, commercial travelling). Insurers actually base the cost of your premium on the information you provide, so if you’ve told them you only use the car for social purposes and you’re involved in an accident, injury, loss or damage resulting from a use other than that outlined in the description of your policy documents, you’re not going to be covered.

Car maintenance
It is important to remember that as part of your insurance agreement, your vehicle must be maintained to a roadworthy condition. That means as part of the policy you’re required to look after things like tyre tread and windscreens/wipers to ensure you have adequate visibility. As well as being required for your vehicle to pass its MOT, following an accident, if insurers discover the vehicle wasn’t maintained properly, they may have grounds to hold back on any pay-out. It may also come as a surprise that as part of your insurance agreement, your insurer must be allowed to have free access to examine your vehicle at all times.

Dangerous cargo
Although you’re highly unlikely to ever come across this, it’s interesting to discover that insurers do not provide cover against any loss or destruction of or damage to property or associated loss arising from the transport of highly dangerous goods including explosives, organic peroxides, toxic substances, infectious substances or radioactive material.     

Warming warning
Despite not being related to a Car Accident situation, this exclusion is worth bearing in mind. As winter comes and the frost starts to set in and you’re faced with having to defrost the car before you head off on your morning commute, be mindful about leaving your car unattended with the keys in the ignition. A quick look at the policy document reveals that insurers will not cover you for any loss or damage resulting from leaving the car keys in or on the vehicle or leaving the vehicle unattended with the engine running.  Although these are some of the more lesser known exclusions, it’s worth bearing in mind common scenarios where you wouldn’t be covered such as Drink Driving and driving under the influence of illegal substances, as importantly you’re not only putting yourself at risk, but the lives of other road users as well. Chris Stillwell writes for car insurance comparison site Confused.com. For more information on Road Traffic Accidents please click here.

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