Driver safety in focus

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UK-based car insurer Admiral has seen a 160-per-cent increase in the number of overseas insurance claims it has dealt with in the last five years, according to data collected by the company. The study of Admiral insured drivers analysed 10 years of motor accidents abroad, and showed Londoners aged 30-39 and driving a VW Golf in France as the most likely group to experience an accident.

France, the UK’s closest European neighbour, came out as the destination where an accident was most likely to occur with an overwhelming majority of 46 per cent of claims, with Spain and Germany failing to come close.

European destinations where drivers were most likely to have made a claim:

1. France 46 per cent

2. Spain 9 per cent

3. Germany 7 per cent

4. Republic of Ireland 7 per cent

5. Belgium 5 per cent

August was identified as the month when most accidents occur – perhaps due simply to the fact that this is the most common month for holidays from the UK – and BMWs were the cars most likely to be caught up in a claim.

Cars most likely to have a claim abroad:

1. BMW 11 per cent

2. Volkswagen 9 per cent

3. Audi 9 per cent

4. Ford 8 per cent

5. Mercedes 7 per cent

Drivers between the ages of 30-39 are most likely to report a car insurance claim while abroad, accounting for 30 per cent of incidents, said Admiral. This was followed by those aged 40-49, who accounted for 24 per cent. Interestingly, drivers aged 20-29 were responsible for a comparatively low 19 per cent.

Commenting on the figures, Lorna Connelly, head of claims at Admiral said: “Driving abroad is a great way to have the freedom to explore new places, without the cost of flights. There’s no reason it shouldn’t be a really enjoyable experience, but just as accidents can happen at home, they can happen abroad too, and different laws and languages can cause additional stress. To ensure an accident doesn’t ruin your holiday we’re calling on all drivers to make sure they’re well informed, so if the worst should happen, they are properly prepared. You can do this by having the right documentation on you, by being aware of the rules of the road in the country you’re visiting and finally by knowing what to do and where to report details of any accidents.”

Among the advice given to drivers heading overseas was to make sure they have sufficient travel insurance, as most motor policies will only cover the car, and not onward travel for the travellers and their luggage.