We don’t often talk about claims on vehicle insurance, and there’s a very good reason for that — Allied Claims doesn’t handle vehicle claims. However, we still frequently have people asking us for help and advice about this issue, so for this blog we’re going to offer some basic advice on vehicle claims.
Just as with making claims on your property insurance, providing false information or failing to update on changes of circumstance, whether accidentally or not, can invalidate insurance. This means your insurer can refuse to pay out for claims, or even cancel your policy. Some types of misinformation may even be classed as fraud and could see you end up in court.
Four of the Most Common Mistakes
- Lying about your main address — Car insurance premiums can vary depending on the postcode, as some areas have higher rates of thefts and break-ins. If you put down your home address as somewhere different from where your car stays every night, even if you spend some time there, the loss adjuster can refuse to pay out on your claim. Insurance companies have special investigations units (SUI) checking information on your insurance and claims, so you’re unlikely to get away with providing an incorrect address.
- Not informing your insurance company of minor accidents — Maybe you’ve had a small bump with only cosmetic damage and got it fixed without making an insurance claim. However, it’s still vital to inform your insurer of the incident, otherwise you could be in breach of your policy. For one thing, the other driver could change their mind and make a claim. Also, if you need to make a claim for something else in the future, any damage unaccounted for could result in your claim being denied.
- Ignoring your morning commute — There are three types of car usage that insurance covers: social only, social and commuting, and business. Social only insurance covers things like driving to and from friends’ houses, going to the supermarket, etc. The commute to and from work, or even to and from the train station, is not covered by this policy, so upgrading to a social and commuting policy is essential, even if you only commute a few times a month, or the insurer may refuse to pay for anything that happens during a commute. If you use your car for work purposes apart from commuting (travelling to meetings or carrying equipment, for example) you’ll need business cover.
- Fronting — Insurance for young drivers is often extremely expensive. This makes it tempting to avoid these higher premiums by having a low-risk driver, such as a parent or partner, specified as the main policy holder, and the real motorist as a named driver. If you get caught ‘fronting’, your policy will immediately be cancelled, and any claims denied. These cases are often taken to court, too, as it’s classed as insurance fraud It can result in a fine of up £5,000 and six points on your licence.
These are just a few of the pitfalls of making a vehicle insurance claim. Watch this space for part two in a few months.