According to Which, 5% of all car insurance claims are rejected – usually because the claimant has breached the terms and conditions of the insurance policy. As a claimant, having to make a claim on your car cover can be immensely frustrating due to the hassle and time-sapping activity of taking phonecalls and reading official letters. It can also prove potentially costly as you might lose your no claims bonus. During this process, the last thing you would want is to be rejected due to a breach of contract.
We have put together a handy list that will help you understand the potential pitfalls, and keep within your contract with your insurer!
Here are the most frequent reasons insurers reject car cover claims:
- ‘Fronting’ – Some people insure a car in the name of someone who is not actually the main driver (known as ‘fronting’) as it can result in lower premium costs.
- Driving without an up-to-date, valid licence – Some people commonly overlook that their driving licence has to be current and up-to-date (e.g. with your current address showing).
- Poor eyesight – Some people might think their eyesight is okay, when it’s not. Others might know it’s not great, but choose not to wear glasses for aesthetic reasons. Insurers can ask for eyesight tests after a claim is made.
- Failure to disclose – Failing to tell an insurer about previous driving accidents, claims, fines and convictions is, for obvious reasons, not allowed.
- Commuting or ‘business’ purposes – Stating when you took out your cover that you only use you vehicle for ‘social, domestic and pleasure purposes’, when you in fact drive to work in it.
- ‘Hiring’ out your car – Obviously if someone pays you to drive your car that isn’t named on your insurance, it’s going to invalidate a claim. But even profiting from a car share arrangement, for example if someone pays you to pick them up and drop them off from work, can lead to problems.
- Extra mileage – When you give an estimate of your annual mileage to an insurer it’s assumed that it’s just that; an estimate. However, grossly underestimating your mileage (and insurers do check in the event of a claim), could invalidate your cover.
- ‘Garaged’ cars which are left on the road – Leaving your car on the street when you’ve stated you leave it in your garage.
- Modifications – Modifying a vehicle, even slightly, and not telling the insurer. This can be as simple as altering the badge.
- Out-of-date MOT certificate – Insurers need to see an MOT certificate that’s not out-of-date.
- Overloading a vehicle – Packing a car to the point where it’s considered ‘overloaded’, either with people or possessions, or both.
- ‘Negligent’ behaviour – Leaving car windows open, doors unlocked, and keys in the ignition when the vehicles unattended.
- Failure to notify the police – The police must be notified of anything illegal occurs involving it, such as theft or malicious damage, and a crime reference number obtained.
- Failure to report an accident – Accidents which are claimed for after time has elapsed, which the insurer wasn’t notified about originally.
- Admitting liability – Unfortunately, you should never admit liability for an incident. Only your insurer can do so, acting in ‘your name’.
- Unpaid premiums – Premiums might go unpaid if you move banks and your direct debits aren’t transferred correctly, for example.