‘Too many drivers’ are choosing car insurance excesses that they can’t afford

Man on mobile phone next to car accident
Excess fees have risen at a higher rate than inflation for 7 years.

When renewing your car insurance policy, you’ve probably realised that increasing your voluntary excess results in a cheaper annual deal – a clever loophole, right?

Unfortunately, this is not the case – and research from GoCompare suggests that almost 70% of motorists have been forced to wipe their savings accounts, take out additional finance or are simply unable to pay the excess fee required to make a claim on their car insurance policy.

The statistics also show that the average excess for vehicle theft has risen by a quarter, which is likely down to the increase in the number of vehicles being stolen in the UK due to the tactics deployed by criminals stealing keyless cars.

One shocking figure showed that the amount that car insurance providers charge in excess has risen to £3,000 in 2019 – more than £2,500 higher than the 2012 average.

What happens if I can’t pay my excess?

If you cannot afford to pay the excess fee attached to your car insurance policy, your insurance provider may refuse to pay out – until you can stump up the cash, at least.

If your insurer refuses to pay your claim, it will be down to you to cover the expensive costs, which you took out insurance for in the first place. Your insurer may be understanding of your difficulty and offer you an alternative, such as paying your claim minus the excess you owe.

The best way to avoid such a scenario is to be prepared, which means either:

  • Ensuring that you have enough money to cover your excess in advance
  • Taking out Excess Insurance

For more advice on what to do if you cannot afford to pay your excess, head over to Bobatoo’s guide here.


>> Get a free quote on Excess Insurance <<<

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Avoid paying excess with excess insurance

One way to ensure that you are never caught short by an unexpected accident is by taking out an Excess Insurance policy.

Excess Insurance is designed to cover either a portion, or the whole of both your voluntary and compulsory excess fees in the event of a claim. It is purchased separately from your car insurance and can be paid for in a one-off payment or on a monthly basis.

Find out more about excess insurance here: Excess Insurance Explained


>> Get a free quote on Excess Insurance <<<

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Comparison website GoCompare raised further concerns about the increase in excess charges, claiming that more and more motorists are failing to understand the potential consequences of increasing their voluntary excess and they are instead being seduced by the lower annual insurance premiums.

In a survey consisting of 2,000 drivers, a staggering 13% said that the excess fee attached to their insurance policy was more than they realised, while (perhaps even more worryingly) 6% said that they were not aware that they needed to pay an excess fee at all.

Car insurance – the hidden costs

As well as having to pay an excess charge in order to qualify for a claim, there are a number of other fees that you may be required to cover in order to avoid invalidating your policy. These can include:

  • Set-up fees
  • Cancellation fees
  • Policy alteration fees
  • Fees for duplicate documents

>> Get a free quote on Excess Insurance <<<

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Car insurance tips

When looking for a cheap car insurance quote, be sure to shop around by using price comparison websites like MoneySupermarket and GoCompare, or get a quote directly with Bobatoo today!

You should also make the most of online cashback websites like Quidco and OhMyDosh, where you can earn up to £75 in cashback on your car insurance policy.

Related articles:

What is Excess Insurance?

The best car insurance comparison sites

The best car insurance companies not on comparison sites

Car insurance for the unemployed

Car insurance payouts reach record level