July 25 2014 Latest news:

Planning your car insurance around the dangers posed by uninsured drivers may be attractive to some drivers, but make sure you are aware of what you are buying.

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Nearly one-fifth of motor insurance policies offer policyholders enhanced protection if hit by an uninsured driver.

In 17pc of cases, comprehensive car insurance policies will protect a policyholder’s no claims discount and not apply an excess if they are involved in an accident caused by an uninsured driver.

This has increased from 13pc of policies in 2009.

Some 18pc of policies will not apply an excess in these circumstances, a figure which has grown from 10pc in the same period.

But the Defaqto analysis comes with an associated warning for motorists – to pay close attention to policy details to ensure it is clear what the policy covers and what are the exact conditions.

Drivers are now known to value protection against uninsured drivers more highly than ever before –presumably a reflection of the large numbers of uninsured drivers on our roads and the increased media attention focussed on this danger.

What policyholders need to bear in mind is that the majority of motor insurance policies that provide this enhanced protection against uninsured drivers require certain details to be provided in the event of a claim, including vehicle details and the uninsured driver’s name and address.

The very nature of uninsured driving may make these details difficult to come by.

Mike Powell, Defaqto’s insight analyst for general insurance, said: “Our research has found that a growing number of motor insurance policies offer enhanced protection for accidents caused by uninsured drivers.

“However, it is also true to say that a relatively limited proportion of policies offer this feature, and most apply fairly stringent criteria when it comes to making a claim under this area of cover.

“As always, people should seek to match what they need from car insurance with the features that different policies provide when comparing what is available on the market – although important, price should never be the main reason for choosing a policy.

“As for many areas, when it comes to uninsured driver benefit, given the still limited and variable nature of cover available, taking time to understand the policy details could pay dividends in the long-run.

“In particular, motorists need to understand what protection a policy would provide in these circumstances and any restrictions they would face on making a claim.”

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