Your insurer needs to know the truth about you and your car in order to calculate the right product and premium for you. Failing to give your insurer the correct information can lead your insurance to be invalidated when in the event of making a claim.
A range of things can invalidate your car insurance policy.
While it can be tempting to tell a little white lie or tweak your details in order to try save on insurance costs, but it really will cost you if you need to make a claim only to find that your insurer can’t pay out.
Withholding information about you and your car – known as ‘non-disclosure’ – can also invalidate your policy.
A common example of tweaking to save on insurance costs is known as ‘Fronting’. This is where a person buys an insurance policy, often for a son or daughter, and names them as an additional driver on the policy rather than the main driver. Younger drivers often pay higher premiums, so this is seen as a way of cutting insurance costs. However, insurers consider this fraud. The main driver of the car must always be named as the main driver on the policy for the policy to be valid.
Making changes to your car can affect the price of your policy. Changes to seating means you can carry more or less passengers, while changes to the engine can adjust your car’s speed and power. Make sure you let your insurer know any time you make any changes to your vehicle that could increase its value too, like adding a spoiler, alloy wheels or a big exhaust.
What you use your car for
What your car is used for can have an impact on the price of your policy, as well as the type of car insurance you legally require. You need to let your insurer know if you use your car for:
- Work – Any kind of business use, including commuting to more than one place of work
- Accepting money for lifts – Car sharing is now often included on standard car policies – but not when money changes hands
- Rallying, racing, off road events – These activities are obviously riskier than day-to-day driving, so your insurer needs to know if you intend to use your car to take part in any of these activities
Insurers might also invalidate your policy if they find that you’ve acted negligently. This can include:
- Leaving your keys in the ignition – Or leaving your car unlocked. If your car is stolen as a result of your failure to secure the vehicle your insurer may not be able to pay out
- Ignoring flood warnings – If you ignore flood warnings and ‘road closed’ signs and choose to drive through floodwater, your insurer likely won’t be able to pay out if your car suffers damage as a result
Changes you need to let your insurer know about
If there are any major changes to your car or the circumstance of any of the drivers named on your policy, it’s best to give your insurer a call and let them know. These include (but aren’t limited to):
- Mileage – If you expect a significant change in your annual mileage to occur
- Change of job – Your profession can have an impact on your policy premium
- Change of address or where you park your car
- Penalty points added to license – Or if you are convicted of any driving offence you should let your insurer know right away rather than waiting until renewal