Older drivers admit to bending the truth to keep insurance costs down

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Older drivers admit to bending the truth to keep insurance costs down

A new law came into effect over the weekend that will clarify what a consumer must tell their insurance firm before taking out a new policy.

The Consumer Insurance (Disclosure and Representations) Act 2012 has come into force to relieve the consumer of the duty to disclose information, rather than the insurance firm asking questions to gain the answers they wish to know.

The old law was based on out-dated eighteenth and nineteenth century principles that required the consumer to disclose absolutely every nugget of information.

The case of Lambert v Co-operative Insurance Society Ltd [1975] 2 Lloyd's Rep 485 illustrates the problems with the duty to disclose.

When Mrs Lambert insured her family's jewellery the insurer did not ask about her husband's previous convictions and she did not mention them. When Mrs Lambert claimed £311 for lost jewellery, the insurer avoided the policy.

Staysure – insurance experts specialising in the over 50s – has found that many older drivers are bending the rules to keep car insurance down and it warned that despite the changes in the law, deliberately misleading their insurer could nonetheless see policies being invalidated.

Research among 1,000 older drivers found those who admitted they'd stretch the truth to cut costs would consider a variety of methods, including: Carrying out multiple searches for quotes using different criteria, to see which came out cheapest. Looking to see if insuring a second driver would make the policy cheaper – regardless of whether they'd actually use the car and not declaring points for speeding or having been involved in accidents.

Drivers in the West Midlands are most likely to consider stretching the truth with nearly four in ten (39%) older drivers saying they'd either consider using the tactics above to cut costs – or wouldn't rule out lying to their insurer.

North East-based drivers were the least likely to do so, with 77% saying they would never consider being anything but truthful when buying or renewing insurance.

Jon Kirk, Head of Car Insurance at Staysure, said: "The new legislation is set to make it easier for consumers and emphasises that the onus is on insurers to ensure they ask customers the correct questions when providing quotations.

"However, while it is understandable that consumers want the best deal on their car insurance, particularly if they have received a price increase on their renewal it's crucial drivers are completely honest with their insurer about every aspect of their policy when purchasing or renewing cover".