IT’S illegal to drive a vehicle on a road or in a public place in the UK without at least 3rd party insurance. If you are caught driving while uninsured you could receive a fixed penalty of £300 and 6 penalty points. If the case goes to court you could get an unlimited fine and be disqualified from driving.
Leasing Options has compiled a list of ways you could be invalidating your insurance without even realising.
1.Change of address
When setting your car insurance premium, insurers take your postcode into account. When you move to a new house your insurance policy may change. So you must tell your insurer immediately to ensure your car insurance remains valid.
2. Getting a new job
Always remember to inform your insurer when you get a new job. Occupation title and type are factors that they consider when setting your premium. Failing to do this could leave you uninsured.
3. Where you park your car
There is a difference in insurance premiums if you use off-street parking compared to parking on a street. If you tell your insurer that your car is parked off-street when it’s not, if it is broken into your claim would not be valid.
4. Lying about what the car is used for
Insurers will ask how you use your car whether it’s for social, social and commuting or business use. Not telling the whole truth about what your car is used for will leave you without car insurance.
5. Underestimating the mileage
As annual mileage is one of the main factors used to calculate your insurance premium, you must state the correct number of miles. If your mileage is higher than your estimate then this will put your policy at risk. There are mileage calculators online which you can use to help you estimate the number of miles you drive.
6. Having an obstructed windscreen
If your windscreen is obstructed in any way and you’re involved in an accident your insurance claim would be void. Whether it’s by frost, dirt or too many air fresheners hanging from your rear-view mirror.
Fronting is when someone lists themselves as the main driver on a car that belongs to a younger driver, who is named as the secondary driver. Yet in reality, it is the younger person that mainly drives the car. Not only could this invalidate your insurance, but it could also land you with a substantial fine and six points on your license.
8. Not telling your insurer about accidents
You must let your insurer know about any accidents your car is involved in, no matter how big or small. If you decline to do so and a third party reports the incident to their insurer it would leave your insurance company in an awkward position. Also if there is previous damage to your car from an incident you have not told your insurer about, any future claims to your insurer could be discredited by this.
9. Making a profit from charging people for lifts
Making a profit from charging people for lifts could put your car insurance at risk. However if you are just accepting petrol money, which does not result in any money as profit, then this is not considered illegal and will not change your insurance.
10. Modifying your car
If you plan on modifying your car, contact your insurer beforehand so they can tell you how much your policy will increase. Modifying your car increases insurance policies for multiple reasons. Bodywork and non-standard engines are more expensive to replace and repair. In addition to this, some modifications can increase the risk of your car being a victim of theft.
Mike Thompson, Director at Leasing Options, said: “During the lockdown motorists have been driving far less than they usually would. This means they most likely have overestimated their mileage which can impact insurance.
“Many drivers’ circumstances may have also changed since they last renewed their car insurance such as a change of address or jobs. We must remember to update our policies to ensure everything is still accurate and true to this day.
“Failing to do this could invalidate your policy and leave you in a difficult situation if a reason arises that you need to put in a claim to your insurance provider.
“We recommend motorists check their car insurance policy to make sure it is up to date with their current circumstances before getting behind the wheel again. Or they could be breaking the law by driving a vehicle on a road or in a public place without insurance.”