Accidental car damage claims surge by 39% in England

Accidental damage claims are up by 39& in England since lockdown eased, new research says

Accidental car damage claims surged at the end of May with road-rusty motorists returning as lockdown eased

  • Accidental damage claims are up by 39% in England since lockdown eased 
  • South Central, London and the North East have seen biggest rise
  • We reveal what you can do to help stay focused when back on the road  

Accidental damage insurance claims shot up at the end of May ahead of an increased easing of coronavirus lockdown measures in England, data shows.

Claims were up 39 per cent between May 13 to May 26, compared to the same period a week earlier. 

Car insurance claims have started to rise again with Scotland seeing a 12 per cent increase and Wales also seeing a three per cent increase, according to Admiral.

It is likely the two other countries saw a minor change when compared to England due to stricter lockdown restrictions still being in place. 

Accidental damage claims are up by 39& in England since lockdown eased, new research says

In England, the South Central region saw the biggest rise in claims – up 48 per cent in the two weeks after lockdown began to ease up.

London and the North East had the next highest jump with cases rising 42 per cent.

By comparison, the North West had the smallest increase of 31 per cent.  

Accidental damage is the term used for the cost of repairing damage to your car or property, caused by an accident. 

Common incidents include shopping trollies veering into vehicles, careless pedestrians and road debris.

When your car is damaged through accidental events, you may need to get your car repaired or replaced. Your car insurance will determine with the amount of damage what course of action is best to take. 

As the restrictions continue to lift further, drivers, cyclists and pedestrians are warned to ‘proceed with caution’ and take care when they are out and about.

Regional breakdown: How accidental damage claims have changed as lockdown eased across the UK 
Area Percentage increase in accidental
damage claims as lockdown eased
South Central England 48%
London 42%
North East England 42%
East of England 39%
South East England 39%
South West England 38%
Midlands 36%
North West England 31%
England average  39%
Scotland average 12%
Wales average 3%
Source: Admiral   

Lorna Connelly, head of claims at Admiral, said: ‘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.

‘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 alike 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 among all road users.’

Admiral compared the claims data from April 29 to May 12 and May 13 to May 26. It is likely to have increased further since and will continue to nudge up as more people hit the roads.

Separate research from the insurer also revealed that 44 per cent of motorists had not gone more than a week without driving since taking their driving test.

This suggests for some drivers the current lockdown break could see them not driving for ten times as long as they’ve ever gone without getting behind the wheel before.

Meanwhile, an overwhelming 76 per cent of drivers also said they believed that the skills of motorists who hadn’t driven for a long time would deteriorate.

How to stay focused when back on the road

1. Concentrate: it sounds obvious, but try to avoid distractions as it can be easy to lose focus. 

2. Keep your mobile phone out of sight and on silent to avoid distracting alerts or ringing. That way you’re not tempted to look at it if you receive a call or text. 

3. Allow plenty of time to study your route before setting off, therefore, there’s no need to fiddle with a sat-nav on the move. 

4. Don’t be afraid to asking passengers to behave or be quiet if they’re distracting you. 

5. Avoid eating and drinking whilst driving – if you are hungry or thirsty, find a safe place to pull over. 

6. If you need a break find a safe place to pull over and take a rest. 



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