A study of 2,000 UK motorists found one in 10 are clueless about whether they are covered for things like driving their car for business use, if they have windscreen cover or if they can drive other vehicles.
Worryingly, nearly one in three wouldn’t know what to do for insurance purposes if they were involved in an accident.
And more than one in 20 have even forgotten who their car insurance is with.
Others have just let it renew automatically for so long, they haven’t had cause to investigate deeply.
Jason Smith, CEO of MoneyExpert.com, which commissioned the research, said: “Obviously, it’s important to know exactly what your car insurance actually covers.
“If you only have third-party insurance, for example, you could be left with a nasty surprise after an accident leaves your car needing expensive repairs.
“But there are other bits of small print people don’t pay enough attention to – like whether the car is used for commuting or social purposes, or where it’s parked overnight.”
MoneyExpert.com have created an online guide [www.moneyexpert.com/car-
The study also found one in five motorists don’t know how much their insurance costs them each year.
Just under a quarter are also happy to let their car insurance renew automatically each year, without checking other providers.
Although 13 per cent don’t even know when their policy is due for renewal.
While four in 10 said they ‘can’t be bothered’ to shop around, a fifth simply expect their premium to automatically go down each year – even if they don’t check.
Another 39 per cent think it’s too much hassle to change providers when one term ends and another is due to begin.
It also emerged the most common cause of insurance claims is major vehicle damage, from things like car collisions.
Just under five per cent have had a car stolen, and one in 10 have used their insurance policy to repair a cracked windshield.
But a third admitted they have had an occasion where they didn’t make a claim to their insurers after their car was damaged – with 15 per cent of those saying it wasn’t worth the paperwork.
Another 64 per cent found the excess on their policy would have cost more than just having the damage repaired themselves.
And 38 per cent were eager to protect their no-claims bonus, according to the OnePoll research.
A huge 78 per cent of drivers, however, have found themselves using their car less than usual since lockdown and social distancing measures were introduced.
As a result, one in five have considered changing their insurance policy.
Jason Smith, CEO of MoneyExpert.com, added: “Insurance providers advise that you contact them any time you have an incident in your vehicle, even if you don’t plan to make a claim.
“It’s possible that this may increase your premiums slightly, but any underlying damage that you don’t report could invalidate your policy if it factors into a future claim.
“Our results found many people find dealing with insurance companies quite laborious – but that shouldn’t stop people from making sure all their paperwork is in order.”