12 ways you may accidentally invalidate your insurance
Insurance is a legal requirement for everyone on the road, so it’s critical you don’t accidentally invalidate it and leave yourself driving without insurance. Car & Van Finance Direct provide a guide to the behaviours which could leave you driving without insurance.
1. Starting a taxi service
It’s common when growing up to be warned against using our parents as a taxi service to ferry us here, there and everywhere. However if you do actually charge people for lifts you’ll be left without insurance cover and could also be fined up to £2,500 and have your car or van seized.
2. Valet parking
Giving your keys to the valet to park your vehicle could leave you without insurance cover, with many policies not covering you if your vehicle is damaged whilst in the care of a valet. These services are growing in popularity around the UK in venues such as airports, hotels and entertainment venues, however this extra bit of luxury could leave you forking out more if your vehicle is damaged in the process.
3. Parking on the street
It may sound harmless enough to park on the street outside your home, however if you’ve stated in your policy that you leave your vehicle in a garage, driveway or private car park, then leaving it on the road may invalidate your cover. When calculating the premium, insurers will take into consideration where you leave your vehicle overnight as this will impact the risk of damage or theft, so if you change where you leave your vehicle then let your insurance know.
4. Entering a racing event
You may see yourself as Lewis Hamilton in the making, however if you enter your own vehicle in a racing event or off-road rally the likelihood is that you will invalidate your insurance as soon as you leave the starting grid.
5. Leaving your windscreen obstructed
Keep your windscreen clear at all times, whether it is covered with mud and dirt, morning frost or snow, if your windscreen is obstructed in any way then your insurance could be invalidated. If you happen to be involved in an accident and your vehicle is deemed to be in a ‘dangerous condition’, then not only could your policy be left invalid, you may also be faced with a £60 fine.
6. Modifying your vehicle
Thinking of modifying your motor? If you’re going to fit a spoiler, roll-cage or a turbo engine, then you could invalidate your policy if you do not notify your insurer. Modifications which change the appearance and performance of your vehicle will mean an increased cost of cover, so it may seem tempting not to reveal these facts, however if you do you’ll be unable to make a claim.
Naming yourself as the main driver on your child’s vehicle is labelled ‘fronting’ and not only could this see you invalidate both you and your child’s policies, you may also be convicted for fraud. If you are a young driver looking to lower your premium then there are better ways of doing this, including taking out a black box insurance policy which is priced depending on your driving style and not just your age.
8. Parking under pressure
You may get anxious when it’s time to parallel park and you are holding up traffic, however it’s a completely different type of pressure which could invalidate your insurance, the pressure caused by an aircraft. Many insurance policies will not cover any loss or damage from pressure waves caused by aircrafts travelling at or above the speed of sound, so think before you park up near the runway of an airport.
9. Driving in a natural disaster
Fortunately there are not an abundance of natural disasters in the UK to avoid, however many insurance policies do not cover these. If you are heading across Europe, you may come across some known natural disaster areas, should you be bold enough to drive up the side of Mount Etna during an eruption for example then you’re unlikely to be covered.
10. Taking all your mates out for a drive
No one wants to be seen as mean when it comes to giving family and friends lifts, however don’t try to fit too many people in your vehicle at once and leave yourself on the wrong side of the law and your insurance policy. Overloading your vehicle with people or goods will likely invalidate your insurance policy, whilst all passengers must be secured in the vehicle by their own seatbelt, to do otherwise is against the law.
11. Moving house
Moving house can be an incredibly stressful time, don’t add to this stress by failing to notify your insurance company of your change of address, leaving you with an invalid policy. Your postcode is taken into account by insurers when setting your insurance premium, with certain areas seen to be a greater risk than others. Moving house could change the cost of your policy, making it more or less expensive, however you need to notify your insurance company immediately.
12. Changing your job
Aiming for a promotion? Or maybe you’re looking for a complete new avenue? Whatever job change happens, then you need to inform your insurer. Occupation title and type are factors that are considered when setting a premium, as well as whether the vehicle is used to commute. Not notifying your insurer of these changes may invalidate your cover and leave you uninsured.
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