The average car accident in the UK costs about £415 – almost as much as a year’s fully comprehensive car insurance policy, at about £459.
It can also add up to 9% – equivalent to £69 – to a driver’s premium at the point of renewal, according to the research by price comparison website MoneySuperMarket.
The data shows over a third of drivers (37%) have been involved in an accident within the last five years. One in five (19%) have paid up to £100 in repairs and any associated insurance costs on top of their policy, while a quarter (24%) have paid between £201 and £400. A further one in 10 spent between £801 and £1,000.
The most common repairs undertaken were to paintwork (45%), bumpers (39%) and lights (29%).
Although 37% of drivers have been involved in an accident within the last five years, a quarter (25%) of those did not make a claim on their insurance.
Analysis of over 14 million car insurance enquiries found that those in the medical professions are the most likely to make a claim for an accident. More than a quarter (28%) of enquiries made by psychiatrists included a claim, followed by general practitioners (27%), paediatricians (26%), haematologists (26%) and loss adjusters (26%).
Drivers aged between 25 and 29 are the most likely to claim on their insurance after an accident, at 16%. Younger drivers aged between 17 and 19 are the least likely, with only 4% of enquiries featuring a claim.
Accidents potentially adding premiums could explain why quarter of drivers who have an accident do not make a claim to their insurer, MoneySuperMarket’s car insurance expert Dave Merrick explained.
“In some cases, it can be more cost efficient to make a claim rather than paying for the costs yourself. Whatever you decide, you should always let you insurer know. Most policies will have a clause that requires you to declare any incidents, regardless of who is at fault. Failing to do so could invalidate your policy,” Merrick said.
“It’s really important that you choose the right level of cover for your needs, as an accident can happen anywhere at any time. The most popular policy type is fully comprehensive, not only because it covers drivers for the widest range of eventualities, but also because it tends to work out as the cheapest type of cover, with the average policy costing £459.
“If you want to save money on your car insurance, don’t let your policy automatically renew without looking around for a better deal first. Take control today and shop around – you could save up to £270.”