As premiums drop, 10 things that could invalidate your auto insurance
Auto insurance prices are at their lowest in seven years, with Covid helping bring prices down, but it’s important to remember to be as specific as possible when providing your personal information.
Providing false information or not updating with changes in circumstances, whether accidentally or not, can invalidate your insurance, meaning your insurer may be able to refuse to pay claims or even cancel your policy. . Some types of misinformation can even qualify as fraud and could land you in court.
This is why CarParts4Less has shared 10 easy mistakes to make that could invalidate your car insurance.
1. Lying about your primary address
Auto insurance premiums can vary based on zip code, as some areas have higher rates of theft and break-ins. It can be tempting to put your home address in a place other than where your car spends every night – at your parents’ house while you’re at college, for example, or at home when you spend five nights. per week with your partner. However, it may mean that your insurer may refuse to pay the claims made, for example if your car is broken into where it actually resides.
Insurance companies have investigative services (called a Special Investigation Unit, or SUI) dedicated to ensuring that your insurance information and claims are correct. discovered when you make a claim.
2. Skip your morning commute
There are three types of car use covered by insurance: social only, social and commuting, and professional. Social insurance only covers driving for social or recreational purposes; going back and forth to friends, going to the supermarket, etc. Commuting to and from work, or even to and from the train station, are not covered by this policy, so it is necessary to switch to a social network and commute, even if you only commute a few times a month . Insurance companies can dispute or deny claims made during a ride if the policy is for social use only, even if it is claimed to be unique.
If you use your car for business purposes outside of daily commutes, such as going to meetings or transporting equipment, you will need to purchase commercial coverage.
3. Not informing your insurer of modifications made to the car
Car modifications can affect your insurance premium for two reasons; if they increase the probability of an accident, or if they increase the probability of theft. Optional additions for new cars, including something as simple and common as fitting into a GPS, can impact insurance, so it’s important to make sure these options are noted when insurance application. Your insurer will also need to be notified of changes made during your policy, as this may require a change in policy.
4. Not informing your insurance company of minor accidents
In the case of small dents or minor accidents where only cosmetic damage occurs, it is common for motorists to have their car repaired without making a claim. However, even if you do not intend to claim, it is important to inform your insurance of any damage suffered, as failure to do so constitutes a breach of your policy. This helps in the event that the other driver changes their mind and decides to claim, and also ensures that damage is accounted for if you need to make a claim after future incidents – damage that does not match a claim can mean that your complaint is denied.
Insurance for young drivers often costs more than groups deemed less risky, and one way for some motorists to get around these higher premiums is to have a lower risk driver, such as a parent or partner, appointed as the primary policy holder and adding the real motorist as the named driver. If you are caught in the act, your policy will be immediately canceled and any claims denied. These cases also often go to court, as they are classified as insurance fraud, with penalties of up to £ 5,000 and six points on your license.
6. Use more kilometers than you think
Your annual mileage is one of the main factors used to calculate your insurance premium; the higher the mileage, the higher the cost. It’s important to be as specific as possible when providing this figure, rather than just guessing, as your insurer may decide not to pay a claim if your mileage is more than you estimated. When calculating how many miles you drive, don’t forget to include weekends, weekly shopping, etc.
7. Driving with animals
If you are driving with your pet in the car, you are legally required to make sure they are secure. Unsecured pets can make a car more at risk of an accident because they can distract the driver or even physically interfere with driving. If you have an accident with an unsecured pet in the car, your insurance company is likely to refuse to pay for your claim.
8. Let other people drive your car
While it is possible for your friends or family to have insurance policies that allow them to drive other people’s cars, these policies are unlikely to cover damage to the vehicle in the event of an accident. It’s more than likely that your own policy will only cover vehicle damage that occurs when a named driver is in the car, so even if your friend can legally drive it, any accident that does occur may not be able to do so. subject of a complaint.
9. You recently changed jobs
Your current occupation is one of the factors used to determine your risk profile, so it is important to update your insurance company if you have changed jobs or professions. Failure to do so means that any claim made after a job change may be denied by your insurer.
10. Recharging elevators
Some policies specifically exclude coverage for carsharing whether or not you make a profit. For those whose policies allow ski lift sharing, it may suck if you make a profit by offering ski lifts – many say you may only earn enough to cover gasoline and driving costs. Earning money donating elevators can identify you as a “taxi hire service” by establishing a policy that does not cover this void.
It is important to always read the terms and conditions of your auto insurance policy, to make sure that you have not accidentally invalidated the policy. Keep your insurer informed of any change in circumstances, whether or not you feel it is relevant, as some seemingly unrelated life changes can impact your premium.