Germany and France named most expensive countries for an accident

Article date: 10 June 2009

Brits planning an Autobahn or Autoroute adventure this summer should beware – Germany and France have been named the most expensive places in Europe for a motorway mishap, according to the latest claims data* from the UK’s biggest insurer.

The average bill if you cause a crash in Germany is £2,940* – over 50% higher than the average bill if you crash your car anywhere else in Europe (£1,918)*. Brits also need to be especially cautious of French drivers, as the average personal injury claim is nearly £10,000 (£9,510)*.

Aviva, the new name for Norwich Union, also reveals that British drivers need to be extra vigilant across the whole continent, as third party claims are up 10%* and personal injury claims are up 20%* on last year. Drivers who aren’t properly insured will face a holiday headache of having to make their own arrangements for their cars to be repaired, negotiate the costs and sort out their onward journeys.

Nigel Bartram, Aviva’s UK insurance motor underwriting manager, comments: “An estimated two million British tourists take to their cars for driving trips to neighbouring European Union countries each year. We advise drivers in Germany to be extra careful, as about two-thirds of the Autobahn network still has no speed limit.

“We also advise you to make sure that you are properly covered before you go. Otherwise you may have to pay for any claims for damage to your car, whether it’s your fault or not. Not to mention the hassle of arranging repair and sorting out the claim in the local language.”

Other costly crash destinations include Austria and Switzerland - where causing a collision could cost you £2,265*. Belgium is also a country where we need to be wary, as causing a crash could cost you up to £1,617*, the third most expensive place in Europe.                                                                                  

Top five most expensive for damage to third party vehicles (where we are at fault)*:

  1. Germany - £2,940
  2. Austria and Switzerland - £2,265
  3. Belgium - £1,617
  4. France - £1,545
  5. Spain - £1,387

Top five most expensive countries if the third party is injured*:

  1. France - £9,510
  2. Germany - £9,121
  3. Italy - £4,045
  4. Holland - £3,571
  5. Belgium - £1,959

 Ten tips on accidents abroad:

  • If you break down on a French autoroute, you must use the SOS boxes to call for help, as it is illegal to call by any other means, eg mobile phone. The driver and all passengers must also have visibility vests when they leave the vehicle
  • Visibility vests are also compulsory in Austria, Belgium, Italy, Norway and are likely to become compulsory throughout the EU
  • In Germany it is obligatory to report all incidents to the police at the time it occurs, even a minor bump
  • In Belgium it is highly recommended to carry a fire extinguisher in the car, as it is compulsory for all Belgian registered cars
  • EU countries have stricter drink driving laws than in the UK, with blood alcohol levels being 0.5mg/ml instead of 0.8mg/ml
  • The number for emergency services across Europe is 112
  • If you have an accident with a lorry and trailer, remember to take down both the lorry registration number and trailer number, as well as most European countries have different registrations on the trailer and recoveries are not possible without the trailer registration
  • In Switzerland, pedestrians normally have the right of way and will expect your vehicle to stop for them
  • In Spain, if you wear glasses, you must carry a spare set in the car when driving
  • If you’re going on a booze cruise to France, remember that five cases of wine is roughly equivalent to having another passenger in the car. Overloading could damage your car’s suspension, burn out the clutch or cause punctures and uneven wear on the tyres.

-ends-

For further information, please contact:

Adam Cracknell, Aviva’s UK Insurance press office
Telephone: 01603 684913 
E-mail: adam.cracknell@aviva.co.uk

Andrew Olley 
Telephone: 0207 413 3139 
E-mail: Andrew.olley@hillandknowlton.com

Notes to editors:

* All stats are based on Aviva claims data from 2008 - Q1 2009

Aviva, the international savings, investments and insurance group, is the world’s fifth largest insurance group, serving 50 million customers across Europe, North America and Asia Pacific.

In the UK, Aviva is a leading provider of life, pensions, investment, general insurance and health products to more than 20 million customers. We also provide roadside assistance through the RAC. Products are distributed through a number of channels including IFAs, brokers, corporate partners and direct to customers via the internet.

Aviva's UK Insurance business has a market share of around 15%, making it the largest general insurer in the UK. The business is focused on insurance for individuals and small businesses.

Aviva's life and pensions business in the UK has a total market share of 12% and a top three position in its key markets of savings, protection, and annuities.

Aviva’s news releases and a selection of images are available from the internet press centre at www.aviva.com/media.

 

 

 

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