Do you read the small print on your insurance documents before taking out a policy? The chances are that the answer is no, and you wouldn’t be alone.
According to a recent survey carried out by UK-based consumer group Fairer Finance, of the 2,000 people questioned, a whopping 73 per cent admitted to not bothering to read all of the small print before signing a contract.
But surely it is worth spending a few extra minutes reading through the boring terms and conditions just to make sure that you don’t end up paying for it further down the line. Well, the reality is that with some companies it might well take you more than a few minutes to ensure that you’re totally up to speed on the intricate details of your agreement.
Researchers discovered that the fine print on contracts belonging to some car insurance companies now stretches to more than 37,000 words. The reality is that even the most suspicious customers are never going to wade their way through a terms and conditions section that’s longer than some novels.
Another rather worrying point to come from the survey was the fact that of the people who do actually bother to spend time taking in every last detail of a contract, many still don’t understand everything they’ve read.
It really isn’t that surprising considering the amount of jargon and legal terms that typically litter such documents.
By no means is it just car insurance firms that stretch their terms and conditions sections out to impossible lengths – banks, home insurance specialists, car finance companies and credit card firms are all guilty of baffling their customers on a regular basis.
Of course not all businesses waffle in their fine print sections, which begs the question – why does it happen? If one firm is able to explain its terms and conditions in a simple and straightforward manner, why can’t another company offering a similar product do the same?
Is it laziness, habit or do they actually have something to hide?
The reality is that it is probably a mix of all three.
Do you think companies are hiding things in the small print of contracts, or do you think that it’s simply unnecessary to spend your time going through the legal terms?
Are you confident that consumer law will protect you from being taken for a ride, regardless of whether you’ve signed a legally binding document?