15% of UK drivers wouldn’t buy car insurance if it wasn’t the law

12 August 2016

• Motor insurance is a grudge purchase for over two fifths (43%) of the UK’s drivers
• Insurance terms baffling UK motorists
• Co-op continues to improve transparency in the insurance industry
• Today the Co-op releases a video to explain why drivers need insurance

New research from the Co-op Insurance has found that 15% of drivers wouldn’t buy car insurance if it wasn’t a legal requirement.

One in five (22%) of drivers are unsure if they would buy car insurance, with just three fifths (61%) saying they would definitely buy it, even if they weren’t legally obliged to do so.

This may not be a surprise as the research has also revealed that motor insurance is a grudge purchase for over two fifths (43%) of UK drivers.

This despite the fact that one in eight drivers claim on their motor insurance every year, according to Co-op claims data, with the average claim costing around £3,000**.

Major car insurance claims can cost in excess of £1m if there are serious injuries or fatalities as a result of an incident. Insurers, such as the Co-op, unfortunately regularly deal with these types of claims which can have devastating emotional impacts on the families involved.

The Co-op Insurance is today launching the second animated video, in a series, which explains why motor insurance is so important for UK drivers and the communities they drive in.

The animation aims to outline the potential costs of insurance claims should a driver have an accident to deter people against not taking a policy out.



The research has found that many drivers do not understand insurance and below is the most common terms that leave motorists confused.

Insurance confusion

Term % don't understand What does it mean?***
1 Enhanced courtesy car 66% Will offer a courtesy car even if your car is not recovered/written off.
2 Modifications cover 62% Contributes towards the cost of replacing non-standard parts or modifications fitted to a car, e.g. Custom alloys, bumpers and exhausts.
3 Motor legal protection 51% Covers against the potential costs of legal action either brought by you or against you as a road user.
4 Motor legal expenses 45% Covers against the potential costs of legal action either brought by you or against you as a road user. (Interchangeable with Motor Legal Protection)
5 Key care cover 41% Cover if you lose your keys or they are stolen.
6 Medical expenses 39% Expenses paid for passengers involved in accidents in your car, e.g. Dental care, prescriptions or medical equipment (crutches etc.).
7 Personal injury cover 34% Pays out in case of injury/death of named drivers as a result of an accident.
8 Protected no claims discount 29% Protects your no claims discount in the event of a claim being made for future years.
9 Voluntary excess 26% Excess that is paid by you in the case that you have to make a claim, which is set by you at the start of the policy. A higher voluntary excess may lower your insurance premium.
10 Compulsory excess 24% Excess that is paid by you in the case that you have to make a claim, which is decided by the insurer.

James Hillon, Products and Pricing Director at Co-op Insurance, said:

“If having motor insurance wasn’t a legal requirement, our research suggests that over 6 million motorists would be happily driving around without it which is a real cause for concern. Insurance protects not only the drivers of vehicles but their passengers, other road users and communities across the country.
“With the average cost of a road accident coming in at around £3,000, it seems unrealistic to think that an uninsured driver would have this amount of money to hand to repair any damage and pay any legal costs should they have an accident and , even worse, injure somebody else.
“At the Co-op we want to keep communities safe and we hope that by explaining insurance it will help drivers to understand the value they get and reduce the chances of them deciding to go without insurance. Uninsured drivers have an impact on the cost of insurance generally, and can also lead to really unfair situations on honest road users if they are involved in an incident.
“At Co-op Insurance we remain committed to doing the right thing for our customers. This is another step in our journey to improve transparency and make insurance easier to understand.”

The video will be available on the Co-op Insurance’s website and will be promoted on social media.
The Co-op insurance is committed to improving transparency for its customers and members  and this is part of a series of activity it has undertaken to do this, and  make insurance easier to understand. In June, it launched an animation explaining why insurance premiums cost what they do and at the beginning of 2016 it launched an online tool which was sent to over 10,000 home insurance customers, which was positively received, and fully explained how home insurance premiums are calculated.

Notes to editors – For media purposes only
As part of the transformation of Co-op Insurance, colleagues were challenged to present original ideas to the insurer’s Executive team that would ultimately benefit customers and support the business in becoming a more innovative insurer.  The idea for the video was created by colleagues from the business’ actuarial and technical services team.
*Research carried out by Atomik Research on behalf of the Co-op Insurance in May 2016 questioning 2,000 UK drivers

15% of drivers say they wouldn’t buy motor insurance if it wasn’t a legal requirement

** All figures are correct as of March 2016 and are based on Co-op Ecoinsurance which is our most popular motor product.

*** all subject to individual’s car insurance terms and conditions

For more information contact:

Jenna Moss
Press & Media Relations Manager – The Co-operative
0161 767 4354/07770 441828