These days car insurance can be a considerable expense, especially for young drivers. Yet, every day many UK drivers run the risk of invalidating their
car insurance by failing to inform their insurers about modifications to their vehicles or by driving dangerously. Should you ever be in the unfortunate circumstances of having to make a claim on your insurance, make sure you’re not left out of pocket and avoid these common mistakes.
Most modern cars roll off the factory floor with their front windscreens already tinted to the maximum amount permissible by the law. Tinting your car windows further without telling your insurer will not only mean the windows aren’t covered by your car insurance, but you could very well be breaking the law which is likely to invalidate your entire policy, since your view of the road will count as obscured. When considering getting your windows tinted, double check you’re within the law, and make sure you tell your insurer.
Alloy wheels can be a huge investment, and they’re also a big target for thieves who know their value only too well. If you think you can claim on your car insurance for wheel theft without first declaring that you’ve upgraded your wheels, you’re wrong. Alloy wheels are likely to increase your insurance premium significantly precisely because of their appeal to criminals, so make sure you factor this into your budget when considering new wheels for your car.
Big shiny exhausts: noisy, attention grabbing, and not covered by your car insurance unless declared.
With the costs for body kits running into the thousands for some cars this is one part of your car you definitely want to ensure will be paid for if it’s ever damaged. If your body kit includes a spoiler it may also come under the category of performance increasing modifications, below.
Rebored engines and added turbo chargers are some of the most serious alterations you can make to a car without informing your insurer. Without declaring performance enhancing modifications, they’re not only going to be unwilling to cover the cost of the improved parts themselves, but will also have grounds to refuse payment for any damage caused to you, your car or a third party in the event of an accident, since the way the car drives and it’s break horse power will be significantly altered.
Driving Under The Influence
It sounds obvious, but is always worth repeating: driving while under the influence of alcohol or any other narcotic is illegal and will instantly disqualify you from receiving any kind of payout from your insurance company.
Using A Mobile
This has to be one of the most regularly broken laws in the UK, with many drivers not really understanding the seriousness of the offence. But chatting or texting on your mobile while driving incurs an on the spot fine and if it causes you to crash due to not having the whole of your attention on the road your car insurer might not cover you for any damages incurred.
Speed camera’s may be irritating for many drivers but they’re there for a reason. If it can be proved you were speeding at the time of an accident then you can wave goodbye to any cover you thought you had.
Falsifying Your Insurance Application
You might think a little white lie won’t hurt anyone, but even something as seemingly innocuous as claiming your car is kept on a driveway to save a few pounds a month, when in reality it’s usually parked in the road, is enough grounds for car insurers to refuse to pay out for damages or theft caused while your car is parked at home.
When you move house you must tell your car insurer about the change of address. Since your neighbourhood is a primary determining factor in the cost of your car insurance, your address can radically change how much you should be paying.
Even if you should be paying less because your neighbourhood is safer than your old one, your car insurance is still likely to be invalid. The lesson here is don’t put it off – changing your insurance details should be a number one priority along with registering your change of address with your bank accounts and credit card suppliers.
Before buying car insurance we recommend the use of a car insurance comparison service provided by impartial advice websites such as The Motley Fool.