Drivers travelling light

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The Independent Online

UK motorists taking their car across the Channel are at risk of being under-insured. Comparison site Money-supermarket.com says well over a third of drivers are unaware their motor cover is downgraded from comprehensive to third party when they're on the Continent.

Five of the UK's 10 leading insurers automatically change the cover in these circumstances. Drivers with Barclays, Direct Line, esure and Swiftcover are most at risk: these firms reduce existing policies to third party in Europe.

"If you normally have comprehensive car insurance, it will come as a shock if you are with one of those insurers that will downgrade your cover for driving in Europe. While it may be in the small print of your policy, our research shows many motorists are unaware of this," said Richard Mason at Moneysupermarket.

"Every insurer must provide the minimum level of third party cover in all EU countries. So, if there is any damage to your own car, you will be left to foot the bill. Anyone with a holiday home in Europe, or who regularly drives there, will do well to look for an insurer that provides the same level of cover throughout the EU."

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