If you’re doing these, you could be invalidating your car insurance

If you’re doing these, you could be invalidating your car insurance

Breaking the terms and conditions set out in your car insurance policy can invalidate it. That means your insurer can refuse to pay out if you make a claim. It can also end up with your policy being cancelled which can make it harder to find cheap car insurance quotes in the future. To ensure you don’t get caught out, here’s what to avoid:

Forgetting to update your insurer
Your premium is based on a risk profile which takes into account things like your age, address, job and of course, the car you drive. If there’s a greater risk of you being involved in an accident and making a claim, you can expect the cost of your policy to reflect this.

With this in mind, it’s important to keep your insurer up to date with any big life changes – for example, if you change jobs, move home or get a new car. Your insurer can then amend your policy to reflect those changes. In some instances, you might have to pay an administration fee to do this but it’s a small price to pay compared to invalidating your policy and running the risk of it being cancelled.

Driving with unrestrained pets
The majority of car insurance policies will make it clear that pets should be restrained, whether that’s in a cage in the boot of your car or using a pet seat belt. If you break this rule and go on to have an accident, your insurer can use it as grounds not to pay out – regardless of how the accident happened.

Driving while distracted
Anything that takes your focus away from the road counts as a distraction. This includes eating and drinking, hanging things off your rear-view mirror and using it to shave or put your makeup on.

Distractions don’t just affect your car insurance either and you could end up with a charge of careless driving. If that’s the case, you could be given between three and nine penalty points which then stay on your licence for four years.

Missing the proper driving insurance
If you’re a learner driver, it’s important to make sure you have the right insurance in place before getting behind the wheel. Using your car without the correct learner insurance for one day or longer can invalidate your car insurance policy, leaving you exposed to significant financial risks if you’re involved in an accident. Don’t assume that your regular car insurance policy automatically covers learner drivers, as many policies don’t. Always check with your insurer to make sure you have the right level of cover in place.

Not telling your insurer about car modifications
Any alteration to your car after it left the factory counts as a modification. Typical examples include adding alloy wheels, tinting windows and upgrading the suspension.

All these changes can affect the performance and value of your car.  Depending on the change, your premium could go up or down but either way, it’s something you should tell your insurer about.

Wearing inappropriate shoes
Driving with shoes that limit or affect your control over the pedals means you risk invalidating your car insurance. This typically includes driving barefoot, wearing shoes with very high heels or thick soles and flip-flops.

Using the wrong class of use
Class of use describes the activities you use your car for, which in turn affects the price of your premium. Having the wrong class of use essentially means you’re not covered for the way you use your car – invalidating any policy you do have.

Examples of the most popular classes of use are:

●      Social, domestic, pleasure (SDP) – for everyday use such as running household chores, food shopping and visiting friends and families.

●      Social, domestic, pleasure + commuting (SDP+C) – includes commuting to a single place of work.

●      Business use – covers you to drive to multiple work locations.

Can I get cheap car insurance if my policy is cancelled?
If an insurer cancels your policy, you can expect this to increase the cost of car coverage in future. This is because cancelled policies make other insurers wary and sets you up as a high-risk customer.

In some instances, you may even find some insurers reluctant to insure you altogether and you might have to consider a specialist provider instead.

If you’re in a situation where you’ve had a policy cancelled, it’s still important to compare quotes to see what’s available. Just remember to be honest when answering relevant questions, as not telling an insurer something they need to know counts as non-disclosure (which can also result in a cancelled policy).

To start a quote, head to mustard.co.uk or speak to an expert on 0330 022 8825.