Car insurance mistakes you need to avoid as rules change

Temporary insurance to cover drivers during the lockdown will end on April 30th. This means that drivers may run the risk of voiding their coverage if they do not update it before then1.

Car insurance is a legal requirement for motorists and your insurer must have accurate information about you and your vehicle in order for it to be valid. If you provide incorrect information or fail to update it, it could result in your insurer refusing to pay out claims or even canceling your policy.

With lockdown restrictions lifted across the country, drivers are at risk of voiding their insurance as their driving habits are back to what they were before the pandemic. CarParts4Less.co.uk shared 10 easy mistakes that could invalidate your car insurance.

Temporary insurance measures change your morning commute

The temporary insurance measures have allowed drivers whose insurance normally only covers them for social purposes to commute to work, but this will soon no longer be the case.

After the April 30th changes, you now need business coverage if you want to commute to work. Without corporate insurance, your insurance will be voided if you commute to social security like during the pandemic.

However, if you intend to commute to work by public transport and only use your car for social occasions, social security is sufficient.

Use more miles than you thought

If you are planning to go on a domestic vacation this year, consider whether the trip fits into your insurance plan. Many policies use your annual mileage as one of the factors in calculating your insurance premium. The higher the mileage, the higher the costs. Accuracy is important when providing this number. Even if a lot of drivers haven’t driven over the lockout much, it is best to check with your insurer in advance to see if you are insured for that number.

Driving with pets

Our pets have become a lifeline more than ever during the lockdown, and there’s no better way to reward them than a dog-friendly getaway. However, if you are planning on taking your pet on vacation, it is important to remember that you are legally required to be sure they are safe. Unsecured pets can increase a car’s risk of accidents as they can distract the driver or even physically interfere with driving. If you crash in the car with an unsecured pet, your insurance company will likely refuse to pay your claim.

Do not notify your insurer of changes to the vehicle

Before preparing for a stay, it is customary to install roof racks or bike racks so that everything needed for the vacation can be packed. However, some drivers may not be aware that these additions can be counted as changes by some insurers and this may require a change in your policy. Before installing, check with your insurer to let them know of your plans.

Vehicle modifications can affect your insurance premium for two reasons. if they increase the likelihood of an accident or if they increase the likelihood of theft. For brand new cars, optional add-ons, including installing a navigation device, can have an impact on insurance. Therefore, it is important to ensure that these options are taken into account when applying for a policy.

Lies about your main address

Insurance premiums vary depending on the zip code as the number of thefts and break-ins are higher in some areas. It can be tempting to give your home address as a different location – your house, if, for example, you lived with your partner because of lockdown. However, this can mean that your insurer can refuse to pay out if, for example, your car is broken into in the place where it is actually located.

Let other people drive your car

Long journeys can be difficult for the driver and it can be tempting to swap drivers while driving. If you are considering this on the way to your vacation destination, it is important that these are included in your policy as a named driver.

While your friends or family will be able to get insurance policies that will allow them to drive other people’s cars, those policies are unlikely to cover damage to the vehicle in the event of an accident, and your policy may only cover damage that caused when a named driver is behind the wheel. While your friend can legally drive the car, you may not be able to claim accidents.

Do not notify your insurance company of minor accidents

In the case of small bumps or minor accidents that only cause cosmetic damage, it is common for drivers to have their car repaired without making a claim. Even if you don’t want to claim, it is important to notify your insurer of any damage as it is a policy violation. This will help in the event that the other driver changes their mind and opts for a claim, and also ensures that the damage is taken into account if you need to make a claim after future incidents. Damage that is incompatible with a claim could mean that you will be rejected.

“Fronting”

Insurance for young drivers often costs more than for other groups. Some motorists try to bypass these higher premiums by designating a low risk driver such as a parent or partner as the primary policyholder and adding the real motorist as the named driver. If you are caught fronting your policy will be immediately canceled and all claims will be denied. These cases are often taken to court and classified as insurance fraud. Results include fines of up to £ 5,000 and six points on your license.

You recently changed jobs

Your current occupation is one of the factors used to determine your risk profile. Therefore, it is important to update your insurer if you have changed jobs or occupations. This is especially true at a time when many people have unfortunately lost their jobs and started a new job. Otherwise, claims made after changing jobs may be rejected by your insurer.

Charging for elevators

Some policies specifically exclude coverage for car sharing, whether or not you are making a profit. For those whose policies allow elevator sharing, billing people for rides may be invalid – many state that you may only earn enough to cover gasoline and travel expenses. If you make money off of elevators, you can be identified as a “taxi hire company,” invalidating many guidelines.

It is important to always read the terms and conditions of your car insurance policy to ensure that you have not accidentally invalidated them. Keep your insurer informed of changes in circumstances whether or not you consider relevant, as some seemingly unrelated changes in life can affect your premium.

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