INSURANCE ALERT: The Simple Errors That May Invalidate Your Car Insurance, Says Insurance Expert - The Worcester Observer

INSURANCE ALERT: The Simple Errors That May Invalidate Your Car Insurance, Says Insurance Expert

Worcester Editorial 28th May, 2024 Updated: 6th Jun, 2024   0

Car insurance can be a minefield, and a few simple mistakes can easily lead to an invalid policy.

Chris Richards, from SimplyQuote car insurance, shares crucial insights on how to avoid common errors that could leave you without coverage.

Navigating the complexities of car insurance, Richards highlights that accuracy is key. “Even minor errors on your insurance form can void your policy,” he warns. It’s essential to understand what you’re covered for and ensure your details are accurate throughout your policy term.

Selecting the Right Class of Use

One common pitfall is choosing the wrong ‘class of use’. This category determines how you can legally use your vehicle, impacting your premium. Misclassification can lead to claim rejections.

“Make sure your policy matches your actual vehicle use,” advises Richards. “For example, using a car for business when it’s insured only for social and domestic use can invalidate your policy.”




Richards explains:

“We’ve seen cases where a driver insured under social, domestic, and pleasure policies used their vehicle for commuting. After an accident, their claim was rejected because their policy didn’t cover commuting. It’s vital to ensure your insurer knows exactly how you use your vehicle.”


Picking the Correct Job Title

Another frequent error involves listing the incorrect job title. Insurers use job titles to calculate risk, and inaccuracies here can be costly.

“Our data shows that job titles can influence premiums by up to 51%,” Richards reveals. “Accurately representing your occupation is crucial for both cost and validity.”

Richards adds:

“For example, there was a client who initially listed his job as ‘manager’ rather than ‘store manager’. This small change altered his risk profile significantly and reduced his premium. It’s essential to be precise and truthful about your job title.”

Avoiding ‘Fronting’

‘Fronting’—naming a more experienced driver as the main user to lower premiums—is a serious mistake. Often done by parents for their children, this constitutes fraud.

“Fronting can result in an invalid policy and potential legal consequences,” Richards states. “It’s simply not worth the risk.”

Richards elaborates:

“We had a case where a father listed himself as the main driver of his son’s car. When the son had an accident, the insurer refused to cover the claim. The father ended up facing legal issues, and the financial impact was significant. Always be truthful about the main driver.”

Using Your Phone While Driving

A conviction for using a mobile phone while driving can nearly double your premium. Richards recommends investing in a hands-free kit to avoid hefty increases.

“A simple hands-free device can save you a significant amount compared to the penalty of a mobile phone conviction,” he suggests.

Richards highlights:

“We’ve seen premiums increase by nearly 100% following a mobile phone conviction. In one instance, a driver’s premium jumped from £600 to £1,170 after being caught using his phone while driving. A hands-free kit, which can cost as little as £10, can prevent this substantial increase.”

Accurately Estimating Mileage

Underestimating your mileage can also lead to problems. Exceeding your stated mileage can void your policy.

“For those with fluctuating travel, consider a pay-by-mile policy to avoid this issue,” Richards recommends. “This ensures you only pay for the miles you drive.”

Richards explains:

“A customer who underestimated her mileage as 5,000 miles per year but actually drove 10,000 miles found her claim denied after an accident. Switching to a pay-by-mile policy would have saved her from this predicament and potentially lowered her costs.”

Keeping Your Details Up to Date

Life changes, such as moving house or changing jobs, can affect your premium. Failing to update your insurer can lead to invalidation.

“Regularly updating your insurer with life changes ensures your cover remains valid and accurately priced,” says Richards.

Richards adds:

“One client moved to a new address with a higher crime rate but didn’t inform his insurer. His car was stolen, and his claim was denied due to the outdated address. Always report changes promptly to avoid such situations.”

Maintaining a Valid MOT

Driving without a valid MOT certificate generally invalidates your car insurance. Ensure your MOT is current to avoid this risk.

“Keep track of your MOT dates with tools like EasyQuote’s MOT checker,” Richards advises. “This simple step can prevent a lapse in your cover.”

Richards warns:

“We had a case where a client’s MOT expired, and his vehicle was involved in an accident the following week. The insurance company refused the claim because the car was not legally roadworthy. Keeping your MOT up-to-date is crucial.”

In conclusion, Richards offers a thought-provoking insight:

“The true value of insurance is only realised when you need it most. By taking the time to understand and correctly manage your policy details, you not only safeguard your financial interests but also ensure peace of mind. Every detail matters in the world of insurance.”

Avoiding these common errors ensures your car insurance remains valid, protecting you from unexpected costs.

For more expert tips and information, visit SimplyQuote.co.uk.

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