Filled up with the wrong fuel: will your insurance cover the damage?

From 12 October, different kinds of vehicle fuel have to use the same name and the same symbol right across the European Union. Experts say that this will be a major adjustment for motorists and they are not ruling out that - at least in the beginning - people will more often fill up with the wrong fuel by mistake. Companies would do well to make their staff aware of this and they can obtain information from Vanbreda about the terms of the cover in their roadside assistance or vehicle policies.

Filled up with the wrong fuel: will your insurance cover the damage?

By 12 October at the latest, all filling stations in the European Union had to switch over to using the new names for petrol and diesel. “premium” 95 octane petrol becomes E10, and “super” or “super premium” 98 octane petrol is now E5. Diesel becomes B7 and LPG remains LPG.

Erik Blankaerts, Deputy Director Product Management and car fleet expert at Vanbreda Risk & Benefits: “Even without these name changes, every year there are plenty of drivers who pick the wrong type of fuel. But now we are coming into a transition period when both the old and the new names will be used, and we can expect the number of cases of filling up with the wrong fuel to increase.”

Most roadside assistance insurers are ready to help

Most drivers only notice their error once they are back behind the wheel. What is important when you fill up with the wrong fuel is to make sure that you remove it from the car as soon as possible, in order to avoid damage.

Most roadside assistance insurers will help with this, so that an accident recovery vehicle will repair or tow your car, and they may be able to provide a replacement vehicle. Travel assistance policies will often include this if you pick the wrong fuel while abroad.

And many car insurance companies will help out

The costs that arise for your vehicle due to filling up with the wrong fuel are covered by a number of comprehensive policies. Some insurers, however, will not cover the financial consequences or only part of them. For example, they may reimburse you only if you drove just a very short distance with the wrong fuel.

Make your staff aware of the issue and check what your policy says.

But even if your insurance does provide assistance when you fill up with the wrong fuel, prevention is always better than cure, says Erik Blankaerts.

“We advise our clients to make sure their staff are well aware of the changes in the names and symbols for the different types of fuel. This will help to avoid any damage.”

If you have any questions about the terms of cover under your roadside assistance or vehicle policy, we are happy to provide you with more information.

We are there for you.

We are pleased to prepare a bespoke fleet policy for your firm. For more information, call us on +32 (0)3 217 55 07 or e-mail us at

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