The 9 Most Common Mistakes That Could Invalidate Your Car Insurance
Some of us take our car insurance for granted. We enter our information, compare the quotes, make our payments and then think the matter is totally resolved. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
There are in fact a number of critical things that one can do that can invalidate your insurance completely. We’ve dedicated today’s blog to sharing what these things are. Hopefully it will arm you with enough knowledge so as not to step into any bear traps going forward. Insurance can be tricky, so it’s essential that you remain on the right side of your provider.
1. Failing to Declare Proper Usage
When you take out your insurance policy, you are supposed to declare the exact use of the car. The main uses are ‘social only,’ ‘social and commuting,’ and ‘business.’ The latter describes commercial use. The first one describes a situation where you only use the car for personal errands, the school run, going to the supermarket and such. Many choose that one, forgetting about their daily commute.
2. Declaring the Wrong Address
The exact address that you declare to the insurance company has quite a lot of bearing on the final quote. Quiet, leafy, low-crime suburbs with off-street parking will always be preferred to downtown street parking. What some people do is name the address of a relative as the main address. If this is discovered, however, your insurance will be invalidated.
3. Failing to Inform Insurance Company of Minor Accidents
Have you ever had a minor bump on the road, a small fender-bender perhaps, in which only cosmetic damage was done? You and the other driver may amicably agree to settle things in cash and “not get the insurance companies involved.” While it’s okay to settle in cash and not get the insurance involved with any claims, you still have to inform the insurers of the accident that occurred. Not to do so would be breaking the terms and conditions to which you signed up.
4. Exceeding Declared Annual Mileage
When you seek your insurance quote, you have to declare your approximate annual mileage to the insurance company. Obviously, the more mileage you normally do, the greater risk you are and therefore the more expensive the premiums. Some see this as a chance to get a better deal on the insurance by low-balling the mileage figure. The problem is, should any accident occur and subsequent claims be made outside of those mileage parameters, then the policy might well be void.
5. Driving Without Securing Your Pet
Do you like to ride in the car with your dog in the back seat? Perhaps the dog likes to wedge itself in between the front seats staring forwards with you as you drive along. It’s a cutesy image, but unfortunately a potentially invalidating one to your insurance provider.
When riding with a pet in the car, you have to ensure that the pet is secure and cannot become a hindrance to your driving. If an accident occurs and it is discovered that a pet was improperly secured or, even worse, responsible for your losing control or losing concentration, then the insurance is sure not to pay for any damage to your vehicle.
6. Failing to Inform Insurance Company of Modifications
It’s not only boy racers who modify cars, you know. From lifting the suspension to replacement body kits and tampering with the ECU to make the car faster and more powerful, many types of modification in themselves may invalidate your insurance. Other milder modifications will not invalidate the policy, but you must declare them all the same. Failing to declare an acceptable modification will be regarded as the same as having an unacceptable modification.
7. Allowing Others to Drive Your Car
When you allow uninsured persons to drive your car, even if you are in the car with them, you are both breaking the law and also invalidating your own policy by breaking the terms and conditions. Only the main policy holder and named drivers are allowed to operate the vehicle legally. If something happens on the road while an uninsured (or improperly insured) person is driving, then you won’t have a chance of getting any pay-out from the insurance provider.
8. Not Informing the Insurance Company of a Change in Jobs
Your job is another of those factors that has quite a bit of bearing on your final insurance premium. Certain jobs, such as waiters, labourers, fruit and vegetable pickers, barbers and painters face the highest insurance prices. Retirees and private secretaries pay the lowest. In any event, changing from one job to another without informing the insurance company is a big no-no.
- Highest – Fruit and Vegetable Picker – £971 on average
- Waiters – £864 on average
- Builders’ labourer – £841 on average
- Secretary and PA – £288 on average
- Lowest – Retirees – £266 on average
Failing to inform your insurer of this is doubly foolish because depending on the kind of job you are transferring to; it could actually help to make your premiums cheaper overall.
9. Using the Car Commercially
Finally, we come to another common mistake, which is made when people start charging others for rides in the car. This may take the form of someone using their car as an unauthorised taxi or ride-sharing service. It might feel like a fast and effective way to make some money, but if anything were to happen during one of your rides, then your insurance would not cover any of the liability.
Stay on the Right Side; Read Your Policy
The best way of not falling foul of these rules is to first be absolutely clear on what the rules and requirements are as set down by your insurance provider. Read your policy terms carefully before you agree and make payment. Breaking any one of the conditions could be grounds for your insurance being completely invalidated, or at least the provider not paying out when a claim is made.
Do everything by the book to ensure maximum protection.