A recent research from the British Insurance Brokers' Association has revealed that many instances of motorists accidentally filling up with the wrong fuel at the pump may not be covered by motor insurance.

British Insurance Brokers’ Association’s (BIBA) survey of the major UK insurers revealed that reference was made to misfuelling in only 22% of comprehensive motor policies, leaving 78% of drivers unaware if their claim would be met. 40% of insurers stated they would not meet a misfuelling claim, when contacted by BIBA.

The insurance industry has a varied attitude towards misfuelling as BIBA’s survey shows. All policies are different and this research highlights the need for consumers to fuel their car correctly, especially if they change to a new car, use a hire vehicle or have multiple cars in the household.

Misfuelling is on the increase and is one of the major causes of vehicle breakdown which affects 150,000 drivers each year in the UK, with the cost of repairs ranging from GBP150 to GBP300 for a fuel drain, to over GBP5,000 if the car is driven causing serious damage to the engine. BIBA is urging consumers to purchase an adequate motor insurance policy from a broker, which can protect against just such an event and not buy solely on price alone.

Graeme Trudgill, technical and corporate affairs executive at BIBA, said: Nobody goes out to put the wrong fuel in their car, if the motorist is innocent the insurance industry would normally treat this as an accidental damage claim. However, if the policy contains misfuelling policy exclusion, then the motorist is unlikely to be able to claim at all.