Car insurance claims for accidental damage have shot up by 39 per cent in England since lockdown was eased, a statistic that backs up previous warnings by safety experts that drivers could have got out of practice due to a lack of time on the road.
The figure comes from the insurance firm Admiral, which compared claims between the weeks of 29 April to 12 May, and 13 May to 26 May. South-central England had the biggest increase over that period, at 48 per cent, followed by London and north-east England, which both saw 42 per cent rises.
Previous Admiral research showed that 44 per cent of motorists have not gone more than a week without driving since their driving test.
|Area||Increase in accidental damage claims as lockdown eased|
|South-central England||48 per cent|
|London||42 per cent|
|North-east England||42 per cent|
|Eastern England||39 per cent|
|South-east England||39 per cent|
|South-west England||38 per cent|
|Midlands||36 per cent|
|North-west England||31 per cent|
|England||39 per cent|
|Scotland||12 per cent|
|Wales||Three per cent|
While there were increases in Scotland and Wales over the same period, these were much smaller due to those two countries having stay-at-home orders in place.
Lorna Connelly, head of claims at Admiral, commented: “Whilst the current volumes of claims for accidental damage from motorists remains low, we’ve found the number of incidents reported to us has started to rise as lockdown measures have eased.
“This suggests that as more motorists return to the roads the likelihood of road accidents will also increase.”
She added: “The increase can be attributed to a number of factors, including a general increase in traffic on the roads, motorists getting back behind the wheel after a sustained break from driving, pedestrians and cyclists who have been taking advantage of quieter roads being unprepared for increased traffic, and some drivers taking unnecessary risks with excessive speed.
“We’re reminding all road users – including motorists, cyclists and pedestrians – that as lockdown measures continue to ease, traffic will probably increase further and that, as it does, the risk of accidents will also rise. Claims for accidental damage remain at a low level, but the increases already seen with a part lifting of travel restrictions should act as a reminder of the need for caution amongst all road users.”
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