You might not know it, but there are lots of ways that you can make your insurance policy invalid without even realising. It’s important to make sure that you’re not doing anything that is against the regulations of your policy, otherwise it could be declared void.
What does void mean?
If your insurance policy is ‘voided’ it means that it will be considered as though no insurance policy ever existed, and no cover was in force. If you make a claim on your policy and it’s considered to be void, the claim will not be paid, leaving you to foot the bill. You’ll also have to declare that you’ve had a policy that has been voided every time you get an insurance quote in the future, which can cause your insurance prices to increase.
Why would my policy be declared void??
There are a few different reasons why your insurer might declare your policy void or invalidate your claim:
- Providing false information
- Failure to notify your insurer of any risk changes
- Breaching your policy terms
Here are some real-life examples of things that could invalidate your insurance:
- Changing your job or address You’ve got a new job or moved house – great! But if you forget to tell your insurer, you could be left with a void insurance policy. Both of these things could affect your insurance ‘risk,’ meaning that you’re required to let your insurer know so that they can amend your policy correctly. This is also important if you’re a student and you take your car to uni with you. You’ll need to let your insurer know that you’ve got a different term-time address.
- Parking on the road If you’ve declared that your park your car in the garage, or on a driveway, parking your car on the road could leave you footing the bill for any damage done while it’s parked there. Parking on the road is classed as a higher risk than parking in the garage – where your car is relatively safe.
- Driving to work You might be thinking ‘surely not!’ But if you’ve selected social, domestic and pleasure use only for your vehicle use, you’ll be breaching the terms of your policy by commuting to work.
- Fronting Fronting is when a more experienced driver is stated as the main driver of a vehicle, when they very rarely use the car. Instead the named driver, often a young or inexperienced driver uses the car most often. Fronting is actually classed as fraud! Plus, the young driver won’t gain any No Claims Discount of their own, so it’s never a good idea.
- Being irresponsible with your keys Thinking of warming your car up outside your house while you wait inside in the warm? If your car gest stolen while your keys are in the ignition, or while the car is unlocked, this could leave you unable to make a claim.
- Letting someone else drive your car Though it won’t necessarily make your insurance policy void, anyone driving your car who you haven’t included on your policy as a named driver will not be covered by your policy. While it’s legal for them to drive your car if their own policy covers ‘driving other vehicles,’ it is Third Party Only cover. This means that if they have an accident that is their fault, the damage to your car won’t be covered. You can read more about the different types of cover here. (Link to types of cover blog when live).
- Modifying your vehicle If you’re planning to make any changes to your car, whether they’re cosmetic or performance enhancing – make sure that you declare these to your insurer. Modified cars are classified as a higher insurance risk because they could increase the likelihood of an accident or make your car a higher theft risk. This means that you need to let your insurer know if you’ve got modifications when you take out your policy, or if you add them part way through your policy-year.
- Exceeding your yearly mileage The mileage that you enter when getting your insurance quote can play a big part in calculating the price, so it’s important that you try to be accurate. If you have a limited mileage policy and have an accident and you’ve exceeded your mileage allowance for the year – your insurer could decide not to pay out.
- Charging for lifts Becoming your own taxi service and charging your friends for lifts might seem like a good idea, but this can actually invalidate your insurance. If you make a profit from giving lifts, you’ll be classed as running a taxi service and most normal insurance policies won’t cover you for that.
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