Insurance companies have once again come in for criticism from consumer groups, after it was revealed they penalise motorists for accidents or minor damage – even when it’s not their fault.

Campaign group Which conducted a survey which found the majority of participants did not understand the insurance company’s interpretation of ‘fault’ or ‘no fault’ when dealing with claims – resulting in tens of thousands bearing the financial brunt in terms of increased premiums.

When researchers contacted several major insurers recently, they obtained quotes for a fictional character with exemplary driving history and low annual mileage. They then obtained quotes on the same basis, but with the addition of a ‘minor scrape’ to the vehicle, that was not the driver’s fault.

The results showed increases ranging from 29% to 33% from all companies contacted! Even in the circumstances where repairs were covered by the other party, one third of the insurers raised their premium.

But there are other alternatives, says Ella Pugh, Marketing Manager of ChipsAway, part of the Franchise Brands plc group, “Once motorists are better-informed about what happens when they claim, they look for other alternatives. We’d suggest contacting ChipsAway would be one of the most financially astute things to do.

All motorists have to pay an excess on their policies. By the time this has been taken into account, plus the additional costs of increased premiums, this money could have been used more shrewdly by paying ChipsAway directly for the work. It ensures your premiums stay low, and the car stays in good shape.”

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