Do you know what a golden rule is when you are purchasing any sort of insurance?! ALWAYS READ THE SMALL PRINT!!! If you actually aren’t used to doing this, then you could be driving around without any cover, and if and when (God forbid) you get in an accident, you might be in a world of trouble because of that.
Car insurance isn’t something to joke about. It is very costly, it has to be paid on a yearly basis, it is required by law, and most importantly it protects you from any misfortunate events that might come your way. This is, of course, a thing that happens in a perfect world, and since ours isn’t, this means that there is a number of reasons why you might not get paid at all. One more thing adds to this absurdity, and that are some honest mistakes that most of us do but are not aware that they can land us in court for fraud. In a list below, you will find 10 things that we all do, and that can make our cover worthless.
10. Registering your parent’s (or anyone else’s) address
If you by any chance have to move, change cities because of the job, you better make sure that you have notified your insurer. If you are wondering why, well, the fact is that the price of your policy has a lot to do with crime rates, flood risk and more and it all depends on your postal code.
If you by some chance live downtown and leave your car registered at your parent’s suburban address your insurer has a legitimate reason to simply reject any claim you make. If you get a bright idea that you might get away with this, don’t please, because insurance companies have investigators that are checking these things out after you make a claim.
9. Not counting your commute – even just driving to the train station
There are two several different types of policy, and you have to be careful which one you have. If you use your car to drive to and from friends’ houses, visit your family, go to the supermarket and what not, then you have to have a social car use policy. On the other hand, if you use that same car to go to work, including to and from the train station, no matter how frequently, you really have to upgrade your insurance to “social and commuting” policy. Why? Well, if you get in an accident on the way to work, you might not get paid if you are on the social policy.
8. ANY changes to the car
Car lovers like working on their four-wheeled pets, but you have to be careful, and notify your insurer about any and all changes you made to your car. If you change the engine or lower the suspension, you have to tell them. Also, be careful of small things that most of us forget, which can get your insurance invalidated. Those are usually anything from stickers, tinted windows, new wheels and custom paint jobs.
7. Accidents you don’t claim for
Small accidents that you forget about or do not claim, like clipped wing mirror, scraping a wing on a bollard and similar might cost less to repair by yourself than reporting them to the insurance companies. This is the easiest way, but it can end up costing you a lot more than you would expect. You really need to inform your insurance provider of any and all damages, because, not doing so means you’re definitely in breach of your policy.
6. When the main driver is down as a “named” driver
We all know how beneficial long no-claims bonus and similar can be when you have to cut down on your insurance cost. Thanks to that many people decide to put that sort of driver down as the main driver, while someone else (without these benefits) is an “occasional driver.” This is, of course, also a bad thing that is flat-out illegal and if you get caught for what they call “fronting” you immediately get your policy canceled, plus points on your license and a hefty fine.
5. Unexpected extra driving
Your insurance policy is also tied to the number of miles you travel on a yearly basis. The logic here is the more you are on the road, the greater chance for you to get into some kind of trouble. This translates to the possibility that your insurer might not pay you if your yearly mileage is significantly higher than what you’ve estimated. When you fill in your yearly mileage, do not forget about those weekends away, weekly shopping, etc., and always add some contingency miles, just in case.
4. Driving with pets
Most of us have a pet, and that pet has to travel with us from time to time. According to the Highway Code, you have to ensure that “dogs or other animals are suitably restrained so that they cannot distract you while you are driving or injure you, or themselves if you stop too quickly.” This means belt harness, pet carrier, dog cage or guard, and if you do not have anything of this, you are in a direct violation of the law and can get your insurance policy canceled.
3. Letting someone else drive your car
This is something most of us do, whether it is for a friend, cousin or someone we know. This is allowed for people who have fully comprehensive car insurance. But, there is a catch here. Most of do not have the same clauses on our policy as someone who’s car we are using, and often do not realize how little cover we (or the person driving our car) actually have. Those fully comprehensive policies allow you to take someone else’s car, but they always provide just the legal minimum. As you can see many things here can end badly and eventually lead up to you receiving a money fine, points on your license and possibly being disqualified from driving.
2. Changing jobs or getting a promotion
If you want insurance for your vehicle, the first thing that insurer checks out is your job title upon which they decide how much to charge you. Your job basically, dictates if your car insurance policy is cheaper or more expensive, and any and all changes regarding your workplace have to be reported to your insurer. If you fail to do so it could mean that any claims made after a job change will, most likely, be denied.
1. Charging for lifts – or even free lifts and car shares sometimes
We all know how organized lifts can positively impact our driving expenses. Whether you are traveling to work, a football game or even to school it can be a life (and cash) saver sometimes, but it also can be bad for your insurance. Some insurances, actually, exclude car sharing, whether you make a profit or not. Others that allow this, might get invalidated if you make a profit from giving lifts. To be fully disclosed, there are those policies that allow petrol money and driving costs sharing, you just have to read them thoroughly and be careful.
Always read the small print. Therein lies the devil!