6 Ways You Could Accidentally Invalidate Insurance Cover for Your Car

by Susan Paige
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When you finally choose an insurance policy and sign all the documents, you agree to follow various instructions set out by your insurer. If you happen to break any of the conditions, your insurer can invalidate your policy. This means that the policy will cease to exist, and you’ll no longer be insured to drive on the road, which is illegal.

There’s a reason why it’s essential to read all your insurance documents before signing anything. For example, you get into an accident, and your car is in serious damages. In normal circumstances, the insurer is bound to pay your claims, but if your insurer catches you breaking any of their rules, they can invalidate your insurance and decline your claim, which may be a lot of money to repair or buy a new car. 

To avoid this, you should familiarize yourself with how you can invalidate your car insurance.

  • Picking the wrong policy

When filling out information for your insurance policy, you may notice that your cover varies depending on what you’re using your car for – whether social, domestic and pleasure, or social and commuting, or for business. If you choose the wrong type of cover, you wouldn’t claim in case of anything. For example, you say your car is for social, domestic, and pleasure, and you use the car to travel to work daily. The entire journey to and from work is considered an insurance dead spot. This means that your insurance provider won’t cover you if you get into an accident. Your insurance provider won’t only invalidate your insurance cover, but they will also decline any claims you make. 

If you’re buying car insurance, ensure you read all of the fine print. Choose the right cover type to avoid invalidating your insurance. Similarly, if your circumstances have changed after you take a policy, let your insurance know because you need a different cover type.

  • Changing jobs

The type of insurance cover you pay for is affected by the kind of job you do, so if you switch jobs, ensure that you inform your insurer. In some cases, it could be a promotion that won’t affect your job title a lot, so it’s unlikely to affect your car insurance.

However, if you’ve switched industries, your premiums will undoubtedly need to be changed. Whether it’s a sharp increase or decrease in cost is entirely up to your insurer to decide the level of risk your new job poses. For example, if it’s far and you need to commute daily for longer, it will potentially expose you to more risk on the road. If you lie or withhold this new information about changing jobs, they will invalidate your car insurance as soon as they find out.

  • Changing your address

Another factor that determines the amount of premium you pay for your insurance cover is your location. If you currently reside in an area with a low number of car thefts and a few minutes’ drive to your workplace, your car insurance will likely be lower. The risk of your vehicle being stolen is lower, and your commute to work is short enough that you won’t be driving for long on the road to encounter many risks.

If you move to an area with a higher risk of car theft and is far from your workplace, your insurer will change your premium to adjust to the new level of risk. Regardless of where you move, it would be best if you still inform your insurance provider. This also applies to university students; if you move and start school, you need to inform the insurance company, who may assume you’re still living at home. If you don’t, your insurance cover may be invalidated in case of an accident.

  • You’re not disclosing your driving offenses.

It doesn’t matter which insurance provider you pick from here. They will all ask you to disclose any driving offenses you may have on your record. Insurance companies use this information to gauge if you’re a high-risk driver, and if they need to increase your premiums to cover the potential risk you carry.

Like all the other personal information you’re required to disclose, you need to be honest about your driving offenses. Even if you think it might hike your premium, you still need to tell the truth. Lying about such information will invalidate your car insurance cover, and in the event of an accident, they will decline your claim.

  • Lying about the main driver

Some young drivers change the main driver’s name to an older person to reduce their insurance premium. If you name an experienced driver with a clean record, your insurance premiums will be lower. However, if the insurance company finds out, your insurance cover will be invalidated, and you’ll likely be fined. This is a form of insurance fraud, and you shouldn’t do it. The other driver is also likely to face charges of insurance fraud. Some insurance providers may also blacklist you, and you’ll have trouble finding an insurance company willing to cover you. 

  • Underestimating your mileage

When filling out your insurance form, one of the things you’re asked is to provide your estimated annual mileage. Many drivers do guesswork and leave it there. If you end up exceeding the stated mileage, then you’re breaking the condition you agreed to. If you claim you were in an accident, the insurance will access your records and know your mileage. If it exceeds what you had earlier stated in the policy agreement, the insurer may invalidate your car insurance.

If you’re not sure about your annual mileage, you can look at your MOT records. Choose the last two, find the mileage on both, and then calculate the difference to determine how much you’ve driven in a year. Alternatively, if you only use your car to commute to work, figure how far the journey to work is and how many trips you take in a year. 

It’s crucial to follow the conditions set out by your insurance provider. It will save you a lot of heartache in case of anything.

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