Car insurance is a legal requirement, and it’s important to know what your policy includes. Telling us the correct information is important to ensure that you are eligible for the insurance and to ensure the premium you are charged is correct. If you do not provide the correct information this may invalidate your insurance which means any claims may not be covered, or you may need to pay an additional premium.
This handy guide helps you understand why telling your insurer the correct information can help avoid invalidating your insurance.
What happens if your car insurance is invalidated?
If you’ve done something to invalidate your insurance, your insurer can take steps to cancel your policy, plus any claim you have made will not be paid. You have to tell insurers if you have invalidated your cover when you shop around for new car insurance, and this can make it difficult to get insurance. You must keep your information up to date and tell us the correct information when making a quote.
Keep your details updated
This is not a comprehensive list, but people often forget to update the information below and this can lead to their policy being invalidated.
When you apply for car insurance, we determine your eligibility from the details that you provide. From this, we assess how much you will need to pay for your insurance. So, if this information changes, you need to tell us immediately.
Change of car
If you sell or change your car please let us know.
Change of address
Your address can affect your premium and where you park can have a big impact on your insurance, tell us of any changes each time.
Named drivers on your policy
This must be kept up to date, for example, are there any drivers that need to be added or removed from your policy, if they drive your car or did in the past.
Change of job or career
Employment is a vital bit of information used when calculating premiums. If you change from an office job to stunt person, for example, you may have to pay extra.
Penalty points and convictions
If caught speeding or committing any other crime, tell us right away.
Missed monthly instalments
If you pay monthly, make sure your payments are made on time and in line with your Direct Debit agreement.
Honesty is the best policy
If you're caught lying, the insurer has the right to cancel your policy or charge the correct premium as a lump sum. Anyone found to have deliberately lied on an insurance application can expect to be blacklisted by insurers.
Where is your car kept?
You must tell us where you keep your car. A common mistake is to forget to update your address. If you’re a student and take your car to university, but your car insurance is still registered at your parents' address, your insurance may be invalidated, and any claim you make may not be fully paid or even rejected.
Tempted to add a new spoiler, alloys or tune-up the engine? Tell us of any changes to your car. It could cost a lot more than was bargained for.
What is fronting?
Some parents buy a car for their son or daughter but register themselves as the main driver. This is known as 'fronting' and helps reduce the premium. This is misleading and will invalidate your insurance. To find out more, browse our guide about insurance fraud and scams.
Choosing the right use for your car
Insuring your car for “social only” use may lower your insurance price, but then you can’t use your car to drive to work. Be honest about how you use your car; even if you’re using your car as part of your job.
Normal day-to-day driving like shopping and visiting friends and family. Also known as 'social, domestic and pleasure’ (SDP excluding commuting).
Social and commuting
As above and for using your car to commute to and from a single work location. Also known as 'social, domestic, pleasure and commuting’ (SDP including commuting).
As above and for using your car to commute to more than one location for business regularly. Also known as 'personal business'. It's worth remembering that, if for example, your children's nanny uses the car to ferry them around, this is classed as business use.
Getting the mileage right
Your annual mileage is one of the main factors used to calculate your insurance. You must tell us the correct number of miles because you can invalidate your insurance if your mileage is higher than you’ve estimated.
A mileage calculator can help estimate the number of miles you drive. Decide the drives you take most often and calculate the mileage, and this should help give you a guide.
Keeping your keys safe
If you leave your car unlocked or the keys in the ignition this will invalidate your insurance if your car is stolen. It’s important to keep your car secure at all times.
Taking care of your car
Looking after your car is very important. It may just help to reduce expensive repairs and keep your car moving. You must keep up to date on your road tax, insurance and MOT because it is a legal requirement and could result in being blacklisted by insurers.
Tell us about accidents and any claims
You must tell us straight away if you have an accident and we can help you get back on the road. Delaying could result in a claim not being paid out. To find out more, read our guide about what to do in an accident.
Pay attention to warning signs
Always take notice of warning signs (e.g. road closed or flood alerts) and act appropriately as ignoring them could result in a claim not being paid.
Taking money for lifts
Car sharing and helping family and friends out with lifts now and again is all part of life. But be wary of taking cash for driving people around especially if you’re making a profit. We need to know because it could be seen as bordering on a taxi service.
Never assume your policy covers you when driving your car abroad. Even if it does, it might be with limited cover. A top tip is to check your breakdown cover is valid overseas.
Always let us know what countries you're visiting and how long you'll be away as you may need a foreign use extension.
What happens if you invalidate your car insurance
If you’ve done something to invalidate your insurance, your insurer can take steps to cancel your policy. You have to tell insurers if you have invalidated your cover when you shop around for new car insurance, and this can make it difficult to get insurance. You must keep your information up to date and tell us the correct information when making a quote.