Millions of UK drivers are risking invalidating their car insurance for making a simple error, revealed new data. The research by MoneySuperMarket has found that a large proportion of motorists are failing to secure their pets while driving which could void their cover. It found that almost a quarter (24 per cent) of drivers let their pet sit unrestrained while on the road. This, however, would leave home unprotected in the event they need to make a claim.
With almost 40 million full UK licence holders in the UK, as many as 10 million UK drivers could be making this error, claims the research.
A further seven per cent allow their pet to travel with them unrestrained, despite knowing it could void their insurance policy.
The Highway Code dictates that motorists must ensure their pet is ‘suitably restrained while on the road to ensure that they don’t distract the driver. ‘
Recommended items to do this include a seat belt harness, pet carrier, dog cage or dog guard.
Failing to abide by these rules could land motorists a careless or distracted driving fine which carries a £100 on the spot fine and three penalty points.
This can, however, rise up to £2,500 fine and nine penalty points if the case is taken to court.
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 £2454 per year simply by switching provider, and it doesn’t take long to do.