Car insurance isn’t always as straightforward as you might have thought. I decided to write this post after I read how having an unrestrained pet in the car could invalidate your motor vehicle insurance. If you allow Fido to romp around the back of your car, sticking his nose out the window, that could break the terms of your insurance agreement. That’s just one of the things that could leave you paying out of your own pocket for a car accident; here are ten more ways that you could be invalidating your car insurance.
1. Missing a payment
If you pay your car insurance premiums by instalments, missing just one payment could mean that you are not insured at all until all your payments are brought back up to date. Keep an eye on your bank statement to make sure all the payments have gone through, especially if you are in the process of changing banks.
2. Driving to a business meeting in your own car
If you are insured for personal use only, then that will normally cover you for driving to and from your place of work. If you drive to a business meeting, or a conference, though, that might be classed as business usage. Be aware too, that not all car policies even cover you for your normal commute to work.
3. Ignoring road signs
If you ignore the road signs that say “Road Closed” that too could invalidate your motor vehicle insurance. Sure, it’s great fun driving at speed through a flooded road, but if you damage your car in the process, you could well end up paying for the repairs out of your own pocket.
4. Pimping your ride
Any modifications that you make to your car should be notified to your insurance company. That applies not only to adding something obvious, like a turbocharger, to the engine; it also means things like upgrading the stereo or fitting alloy wheels.
5. Leaving the keys in the ignition
Leaving your keys in the ignition and your car unattended is a big no-no as far as your insurance company is concerned and you are just asking for your car to get stolen. The problem is though, who hasn’t left their car running on a cold winters morning to defrost it and popped back indoors to keep warm? If your car is nicked while you finish off your morning coffee, you won’t have the insurance to replace it.
6. Driving without a valid MOT
Car insurance policies usually also include a clause that says it is your responsibility to keep the vehicle in a roadworthy condition. Any claims you make while your car does not have a valid MOT certificate may be refused as the insurance company will take that as being proof the car is not fit for use on the roads.
7. Changing your job
You probably would remember to tell your insurer that you have changed your car, but did you tell them that you changed your job? Some types of jobs attract higher car insurance premiums than others, so make sure that you disclose any changes of a career if you want to get paid out on your car insurance.
8. Accepting money for giving people lifts
Some insurance policies will only cover you for ‘social, domestic and pleasure’ so, if you take people to work and your passengers pay you, you could be invalidating your insurance policy. The real decider on this one is if you are making a profit out of your driving, because if you are, then you are getting into the realms of being a taxi service.
9. Not disclosing all the details of a named driver
If you have a named driver on your policy, you need to disclose their driving history. If they have had prangs in the past and you didn’t tell your insurance company about them, your insurance could be invalidated.
10. Racing your car
The average motor vehicle insurance policy will not cover you for off-road racing or for competing in races of any kind. If you really want to enter the Paris-Dakar rally in your four door family saloon, you’d better get an upgrade to your motor policy.
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