How to avoid invalidating your car insurance

Car insurance is vital, but so is understanding exactly what you’re covered for. We’ve compiled a list of the top things that can result in a claim not being paid, to help you avoid an unwelcome financial surprise.

Dashing to check-in after leaving your car at the airport valet? Did you know that handing your keys over to airport meet and greet services also means putting yourself in the hands of their insurers? It’s unlikely your insurer will still be liable. It’s situations like this that can leave us all feeling anxious and unsure.

We want you to better understand some of the conditions and limitations for insurance so you don’t find yourself in a sticky situation.

Always be honest

It might be tempting to tell a few white lies to try and save a few pounds on your insurance, but those savings will be wiped out and worse if you try to make a claim and then discover your insurer can’t pay out.

Caught lying? The insurer has the right to cancel the policy or charge the correct premium as a lump sum. Anyone found to have deliberately lied on an insurance application can also expect to be blacklisted by insurers.

The most commonly falsified information includes:

  • Use of car
    Insuring your car for “social only” uses may reduce your premium, but you can’t use it to drive to work. Instead you should be honest about whether your car is part of your commute or if you’re using the vehicle as part of your job.
     
  • Who the car is for
    Some people buy a car for their son or daughter but then list themselves as the main driver, in a strategy known as “fronting” to try to get lower premiums. Always be accurate about who’s using the car the most.
     
  • Modifications
    Tempted by a spoiler, new alloys or tuned up engine? Make sure you also let your insurer know what you’ve done or your flashy ride could cost a lot more than was bargained for.
     
  • Penalty points
    If you get caught speeding or committing any other crime, you should let your insurer know right away.
     
  • Change of address
    Where you park will obviously have a big impact on your insurance, so you need to update your insurance company every time.
     
  • Change of job title/ career
    Employment is a vital bit of information used when calculating premiums. If you change from office job to stuntman, you might have to pay extra.

Always give honest answers to all questions asked — from your claims history to your job title.

Pay attention to warning signs

Ignoring warning signs (e.g. road closed or flood alerts) might seem a possible way to speed up your journey. But aside from being dangerous it could also end up really hitting your pocket hard. Always take notice of signage and act appropriately as ignoring them could result in a claim not being paid.

Keep thieves at bay

Your policy might cover the theft of items from your vehicle but if you’ve left your car unlocked or valuables clearly on display then it’s likely your claim will be refused.

Also, if your car’s unlocked or has the keys in the ignition while unattended and is stolen you’ll also find yourself potentially without a payout.

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. Your insurer would need to be notified as it could be seen as bordering on a taxi service.

Driving abroad

Never automatically assume your policy covers you while using your car overseas. Even if it does, it might be with limited cover. It’s also a good idea to check your breakdown cover is valid overseas.

For peace of mind always let your insurer know what countries you're visiting and how long you'll be away - you may need a foreign use extension.

Honest mileage

Insurers need to know your approximate mileage for the year ahead so make your best guess when buying your policy. If you expect a significant change in your mileage to occur then get in touch to update your insurer. Perhaps you’re simply using your car more than you originally expected, you’ve moved house or have a longer commute to work.

Always make sure you fully read your policy documents to ensure you have a good understanding of everything that’s covered.

You can find your policy documents in your account area.

Find out more about insuring your car with MORE THAN

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