New research from leading price comparison website MoneySuperMarket reveals that millions of motorists are at risk of voiding their car insurance by failing to secure their pets properly while driving.
The warning comes as MoneySuperMarket uncovers that almost a quarter (24%) of drivers let a pet sit unrestrained in their car – leaving them unprotected in the event of a claim. With over 40 million full licence holders in the UK, that equates to nearly 10 million road users possibly choosing to take a risky trip with their pet in tow. A further seven per cent allow their pet to travel with them unrestrained, despite knowing it could void their insurance policy.
The Highway Code states that animals need to be ‘suitably restrained’ to ensure they don’t distract the driver and recommends using a seat belt harness, pet carrier, dog cage or dog guard in order to do so.
Rachel Wait, consumer affairs spokesperson at MoneySuperMarket, commented: “While driving with your pet in your car – whether in the boot or on a seat – might seem like a harmless way of getting from A to B, the truth is you can risk invalidating your car insurance.
“If you’re in a prang with an unrestrained pet in your car, insurers may use it against you – regardless of whether it was as a direct result of the animal itself – so it’s worth being on the safe side and making sure ‘man’s best friend’ is properly restrained.
“Always read your policy in full to make sure you have the correct level of cover for your needs. If not, shop around to see if you are getting the best deal – you could save up to £245 per year simply by switching provider, and it doesn’t take long to do.”
The report from MoneySuperMarket also reveals the most common ways drivers in the UK break the terms of their policy:
- Changing jobs without notifying their insurer (23%)
- Having an accident and not informing their insurer (18%)
- Letting others drive their car without the correct insurance (15%)
- Failing to update the address on their policy details (14%)
- Charging others for lifts (13%)
- Incorrectly listing their parent as the main policyholder (13%)