Car insurance excess warning for cash-strapped drivers

Hard-pressed motorists looking to save money on their car insurance should avoid increasing their insurance excess levels in order to reduce their premiums, a leading insurer has warned.
Research carried out by AXA found that one in ten UK drivers have increased their excess over the past two years in a bid to cut the cost of their motor insurance policy.
But in many cases excesses have been pushed up to an unaffordable level, with the number of drivers unable to cover the cost of their voluntary excess increasing by some 61 per cent in 2011.
The study revealed that 29 per cent of motorists do not have enough readily available cash to cover their excess if required, suggesting that many damaged and potentially dangerous cars are still being driven on UK roads as a growing number of motorists are unable to pay for repairs following accidents.
Sarah Vaughan from AXA said: “As an industry we need to make sure motorists understand the level of excess they are committing themselves to when they buy their insurance and then to ensure it is at a sensible level for them.”
“We appreciate that premiums have risen a lot in the last couple of years and we can understand consumers looking at ways of saving a bit of money. But if this means that they can’t afford their excess, it is a completely false economy.”
She added, “Even if the money can eventually be recovered from a third party, motorists should be careful to have the cash available in order to get their repairs done swiftly and get their cars back on the road.”