As drivers of new and used cars slowly return to our roads again and motor trade showrooms start to re-open their doors, reports are showing a steep rise in the number of recent insurance policy claims for accidental damage.
The figures released, which were compared to the previous fortnight, show claims surged by as much as 48% towards the end of May in some English regions, which coincides with the easing of the Covid19 government lockdown measures.
Sources show insurance claims increases in the following regions across England:
South Central 48%
North East 42%
South East 39%
South West 38%
North West 31%
Scotland and Wales also saw new and used car insurance claims increase over the same period even though both countries still had lockdown orders in place.
These statistics confirm earlier warnings by safety experts that motorists could be out of driving practice due to the lack of time behind the wheel.
A staggering 76% of drivers believed the skills of motorists who had not driven for a long time would deteriorate, and apparently over 40% of drivers have not gone for more than 7 days without driving since taking their driving test before lockdown.
Head of claims at one insurance policy company said, ‘The increase can be attributed to a number of factors, including a general increase in traffic on the roads; motorists getting back behind the wheel after a sustained break from driving; pedestrians and cyclists who have been taking advantage of quieter roads being unprepared for increased traffic and some drivers taking unnecessary risks with excessive speed.
They followed on to say, ‘Claims for accidental damage remain at a low level, but the increases already seen with a part lifting of travel restrictions should act as a reminder of the need for caution among all road users.’
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Accidental damage covers all types of motoring incidents, ranging from supermarket shopping trollies rolling into vehicles to cars being hit and damaged by random road debris.
The insurance policy term used is what covers the cost of the repairs to the damage caused by the incident. All road users need to take care when out and about, whether driving, cycling, or walking, so allow plenty of time for your journey and if possible, plan the route in advance.
If it is a long journey ahead make sure you take breaks, find a safe place or a service station to stop and rest for a while.
Whilst travelling, avoid distractions to stay completely focused and concentrate on the road ahead. For example, do not eat or drink whilst driving, ask passengers to be quiet and keep your mobile phone in the vehicle glovebox, your pocket or turn it off altogether so you are not distracted by calls or messages.