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Car insurance – Five ways in which your cover can be instantly invalidated


Car insurance

Motorists are making common errors which are invalidating their car insurance (Image: GETTY)

Making simple mistakes on your car insurance, little inaccuracies or lies could invalidate your premium instantly.

Drivers must be completely honest and accurate when applying for their car insurance to ensure that it remains valid on the road.

For example, not being completely truthful about your occupation or lying about how exactly you use your car could instantly void it.

Some of the errors and common ‘white lies’ used by motorists have been revealed in new research by GoCompare.

The insurance website revealed that 449,000 confirmed or suspected dishonest insurance applications were detected by insurers.

Most commonly the reasons drivers lied or withheld information as to get cheaper insurance cover.

Insurers can punish motorists in a number of ways for these errors including cancelling the policy, refusing to pay a claim or prosecute them for fraud.    

Drivers are required to be completely upfront when applying for their insurance and disclose any necessary information.

Insurance premiums are calculated used complex algorithms based on the information you provide which is why you need to be as accurate as possible.

Lee Griffin, Founder and President at GoCompare commented, “Honesty is always the best policy when applying for or renewing your car insurance. 

“To make decisions about your application and the terms they offer you – insurers require information about you, your car and any other drivers who use it. 

“Drivers are required to answer all the questions on the application form as fully and accurately as possible.    

“A common area of potential misrepresentation concerns claims and losses.  Some drivers mistakenly believe that they do not have to declare damage to their car if they paid for the repairs out of their own pocket or for a claim which was not their fault and was settled by the ‘at-fault’ driver’s insurer. 

Car insurance

Motorists need to have the correct class of use (Image: GETTY)

“Typically, insurers require information on all incidents within the last 5 years – so, both of these types of incidents would have to be declared.

Lee continued, “Drivers also need to remember to keep their insurer up-to-date with any changes over the course of their policy.  For example, if they change their occupation, receive any motoring convictions or points or make any changes to their car.

“The consequences of withholding or giving false information to obtain cheaper car insurance can be severe.  Far from saving money, being untruthful can be costly should you need to make a claim and may even lead to your policy being cancelled or invalidated. 

“There are significantly better ways of reducing the cost of your cover – including shopping around at renewal, opting for a larger excess, limiting your mileage or, opting for a blackbox ‘telematics’ policy.”  

Car insurance

Fronting is when an older motorist claims to be the main driver when in fact they are merely a named driver (Image: GETTY)

Five lies which could invalidate your car insurance

How the car is used

There are three types of car usage: social; social and commuting; business use.  Social usage excludes any travel to and from work or other business use so, if you use your car to get to work then you need to make sure your policy covers commuting.  Insurers tend to charge a higher premium for commuting and business use because drivers are more likely to be on the road at the busiest times of day.  

‘Fronting’

To get cheaper cover for a young driver, some parents arrange insurance for their son or daughter, listing them as an additional driver as opposed to the main driver.  This is known as ‘fronting’ and insurers consider it fraud.  The person who uses the car most often should be listed as the main driver on the policy, additional drivers should only be added if they drive the car occasionally.

Occupation

Your occupation and the way you describe it will impact on the price you pay for car insurance. You will also need to tell your insurer if you change your job.

Withholding information about previous claims or damage to your car

In addition to more serious accidents, you should declare details of minor knocks and dents – even if you didn’t claim for the accident.

Failing to own-up to penalty points or other driving convictions

Deliberately failing to disclose driving offences is fraudulent.  Drivers should declare penalty points and other motoring convictions when applying for a policy.  Drivers should also notify their insurer immediately of any penalty points received during the term of their cover – rather than waiting until it comes up for renewal.



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