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Insurers urged to increase cover for road-rage incidents

Car insurers have been urged to up their game over people hurt in road-rage incidents.

Consumer research company Defaqto has found that only a tiny fraction of car-insurance firms offer to pay anything to victims of road rage, even when the victims are subject to physical assault. Ninety four per cent of all motor insurance policies available in the UK in 2010 do not offer any cover for road rage, although this is a slight improvement from 2005, when the figure was 99 per cent. Even enlightened insurers, which cover road rage, impose benefit limits ranging from £500 to £5,000. They usually cover costs incurred for counselling, and some also give a benefit for physical assault.

This comes despite Defaqto indentifying cover for road-rage incidents as an important differentiator for consumers when deciding on a policy, particularly with drivers aged 55-plus.

Mike Powell, author of the Defaqto report, said: "Although this is a potentially useful benefit, the exclusions are very clear and could make claiming difficult. Exclusions include incidents caused by a relative ... or incidents caused or contributed by anything said or done by the insured person or passenger in the car. In the heat of the moment, many people may find it difficult to stay calm, and it could therefore be hard to prove that the insured person did not contribute to the situation."