6 easy ways you’re invalidating your Car Insurance

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Once you’ve bought your Car Insurance it’s easy to tuck the policy document away in a drawer and forget about it for another year. But it could also mean forgetting that the policy will have exclusions and clauses which mean you could find yourself driving without valid insurance at some point. invalidated car insurance

Here are 6 reasons why otherwise sensible drivers who regularly wash their car and check the water, oil and tyres, get the MOT done and pay their insurance, could accidentally find themselves uninsured on the road:

1.    Your circumstances change and you don’t tell your insurer

If you move house, modify your car, change jobs, change where you keep it at night, and for longer periods when it’s not in use (such as from a garage to a public road), and, particularly, if you’re convicted of a serious driving offence, you have to tell your insurer.

Failing to do so would almost certainly invalidate your car cover

2.    Unused cars now need cover too

If you own an unused car that you keep locked away in a garage or on a private driveway, it now needs insuring in the same way as the other cars you drive if you haven’t declared it as ‘off road’ by way of a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN).

The rules changed a few years ago and many drivers still don’t realise it. You face a maximum fine of £1,000 and the risk of your car being disposed of.

3.    Driving cars other than your own

Many drivers are convicted each year for driving a friend or other family member’s car without insurance, even if they have permission. They include those that honestly believed their insurance covered them (often arguing that they thought the ‘third party’ bit of ‘third party, fire and theft’ meant they were insured to drive a ‘third party’s’ vehicle).

4.    Assuming foreign laws regarding alcohol are the same as in the UK

The current legal limit in the UK for driving with alcohol in the blood is 3 units. That equates to 3 halves of average strength bitter, or 3 small glasses of wine (125mls).

However, in some countries such as France and Spain, the level allowed is now almost zero (‘almost’ to take into account the effects of such things as cough medicine). Many hundreds are caught out by this each year.

5.    Driving abroad

As with alcohol laws, many Brits assume their insurance covers them for driving in a foreign country.

They’re wrong to assume, of course. Some policies include driving abroad as standard but most don’t and you have to pay extra if you’re to have any cover at all while across the channel.

6.    Driving for work purposes

If you’ve stated on your motor insurance application that you only use your car for ‘social, domestic or pleasure’ reasons, but then have an accident while driving to and from work, you might find any claim you make rejected.

Some people deliberately underplay what they use their vehicle for to keep the cost of cover down. Others might have genuinely only been using it for the reason given at the time cover was taken out, but  subsequently started using their car for commuting and work purposes.

Policy Expert

Policy Expert has a real passion for making sure people get the cover that’s right for them. We’re driven by a desire to help you find not only the best value insurance, but the right insurance for your individual needs. For more information on speak to one of our experts on 0330 0600 602 or email ask@policyexpert.co.uk

The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Policy Expert.