Car insurance is a legal requirement for all motorists but many could, unknowingly, be invalidating their insurance policy by making a number of simple but costly errors, leaving themselves at risk of fines and big bills if they are caught by the police or involved in an accident. Drivers must be completely honest and accurate when applying for car insurance as the wrong information could lead to insurance companies refusing to pay out, cancelling policies and in worst-case situations could even see drivers prosecuted for fraud.
Avoid jeopardising your car insurance by following our guide on the 5 things that could leave you driving without insurance below.
One of the most common mistakes drivers make is forgetting to update their address. Car insurance premiums vary depending on postcode, as some areas have higher crime rates than others and will often see surges in claims, which as a result can lead to higher insurance premiums. Failing to notify an insurance company of your change of address could leave you with an invalid policy.
Students that take their cars with them to university could find they’ve invalidated their insurance by leaving the car registered to their home address. Such a mistake could see insurers refusing to pay out for any claims made at the actual main living location.
Nearly 47% of UK drivers have modified their car in some way, but failing to notify your insurer about any changes to your vehicle could void your policy. Modifications that change the look and performance of your car affect the cost of insurance premiums. Performance upgrades such as engine modifications or expensive add-ons not only increase the value of the car but make it more attractive to thieves. The price of repairing a modified vehicle after an accident also needs to be considered, as this could be considerably higher than what your insurance initially agreed to. Ensuring that you inform your provider of any changes to the vehicle will allow your insurer to assess the validity of your policy.
Insurance for young drivers often costs more than groups that are deemed as less of a risk, and one tactic used by some motorists to get around the higher premiums is ‘fronting’. This is when a low-risk driver, i.e. a parent, insures themselves as the main policy holder, adding the real motorist as a named driver instead. However, if you’re caught ‘fronting’ not only could it see you invalidate both your and the low risk driver’s policies, but you could be convicted for insurance fraud, resulting fines of up to £5,000 and six points on your licence. The person that uses the vehicle most often should be listed as the main driver on the policy, additional drivers should only be added if they drive the car occasionally.
When it comes to taking out car insurance, there are three different types of car usage that insurance covers: social only, social and commuting, and business. These policies provide different extents of cover and if you’ve said you only use your car for social driving for example, using it outside of this will mean that you’re at risk of invaliding your insurance. For those that need cover for driving to and from work or visiting clients, insurers tend to charge a higher premium for commuting and business use because drivers are more likely to be on the road at the busiest times of day.
Occupation title and type are also factors insurers consider when setting premiums and may impact your insurance if you fail to inform them of any career changes.
Whilst many motorists don’t think it is necessary to notify their insurers about any minor accidents, you should still declare details of small bumps and dents. It is really important to inform your insurance provider about any damage - even if you don’t intend to claim, as not doing so is a breach of your policy. This will protect you in case the other driver changes their mind and decides to make a claim but also ensures damage is accounted for if you claim for future accidents, as any damage that is inconsistent may see your claim denied.
So there you have it, 5 circumstances that could invalidate your car insurance if you haven’t informed your insurer. Other factors such as failing to own-up to penalty points or other driving convictions as well as driving a vehicle that is deemed to be in a dangerous condition could also affect the validity of your policy. An insurer can take steps to cancel your policy if you’ve done something to invalidate your insurance - which is also something that you’ll have to declare when it comes to looking for new insurance. You may find it difficult to get a quote or be expected to pay more for your policy, so any changes in circumstance are always worth mentioning to your insurer if you don’t want to jeopardise your car insurance!
Any other factors that could invalidate car insurance that you think we’ve missed? Let us know via our social media channels!
Other articles that might interest you:
For more CarCliq Guides, click here.