Norwich Union research highlights the risks to new car owners

Article date: 4 September 2002

Research by the UK's largest insurer, Norwich Union, has shownthat new cars have almost twice as many claims for accidentaldamage as older cars: most commonly for incidents that don'tinvolve another vehicle.

The insurer, which provides motor insurance for around one infive cars on Britain's roads, found that vehicles less than 12months old are nearly twice as likely to suffer damage whileparked, as those more than a year old.

Accidents involving other vehicles are almost a quarter higherfor vehicles that have been registered for less than a year.

New cars are 40 per cent more likely to be vandalised than oldercars.

Richard Alger, Norwich Union's motor development manager, said:"Our investigations highlight the fact that owners of new cars takesome time to get used to their vehicles. The number of claims fordamage caused specifically by drivers of new cars bumping intothings suggests that, initially, drivers are unfamiliar with theirnew vehicle's controls or with the size of their car, when it comesto manoeuvring.

"Interestingly there is little difference in the number of theftclaims. This could be explained by the improvements to physicalsecurity, but is more likely to be a result of new car owners beingextra vigilant and taking precautions to deter would-be thievesfrom taking their prized new possession.

"From an insurance perspective new car owners should ensure thatthey have taken out cover with a company that will provide areplacement vehicle if the car is 'written off' or stolen. Insurerssuch as Norwich Union will typically provide such cover up to 12months after first registration, but it is worth checking that yourpolicy provides such protection."

For media enquires, please contact David Ross at Norwich Unionon 08703 666865 (07786 526350)

Notes to editors

  • Norwich Union is the UK’s largest insurer. In generalinsurance it is more than 1.5 times the size of its nearestcompetitor, and has a 19 per cent share of the market.
  • It has a focus on insurance for individuals and smallbusinesses. It insures:
    • one in five households
    • one in five motor vehicles
    • more than 700,000 businesses
  • Norwich Union products are available through a variety ofdistribution channels including brokers, corporate partners suchas banks and building societies and Norwich Union Direct.
  • Norwich Union’s news releases are available on the Avivaplc website at
  • A selection of images is available from the Norwich UnionNewscast site at
  • An ISDN facility is available for studio quality interviews.Call the press office on 08703 66 68 68

For all life and pension media enquiries 08703 66 68 73
For all other media enquiries 08703 66 68 68

Back to top