When you drive a car, it’s a legal requirement to have car insurance. There is no getting around the fact, and if you drive without it, you could be fined or imprisoned (depending on whether you caused or were involved in an accident as well), and you might have your driving license removed. If you need to drive to get to work or carry out your daily duties and you were suddenly unable to, your life could become challenging. This is why you must always make sure you have room in your budget for insurance when you are a car owner.
All of this is common knowledge, but what you might not know is that there are some things you can do that will invalidate your car insurance and will lead you to drive without being fully insured – or insured at all – without even realizing it. In fact, sometimes these mistakes could be seen as fraud, leading to requiring a car accident lawyer or abogado de accidentes de auto if you end up in court because of it. Read on to find out more to ensure that you are driving with all the protection in place you need to be safe and legal.
Giving The Wrong Address
Some areas of your city, state, and country have higher crime rates than others, and if you live in a place where there are lots of car thefts, your insurance premium may well be higher. So it could be tempting to use a different address on your insurance documents – perhaps the address of a friend or relative who lives in a ‘safer’ area and from whom you can collect any correspondence from your insurance company.
However, although it might seem harmless to do this and it could save you money, it will invalidate your insurance if you are found out. If your car were stolen or broken into at your home address, you would need to explain why it wasn’t at the address on your forms before any payment is made, and this could mean no payout at all.
Not Mentioning Any Car Modifications
When you buy a car and it is exactly as it was when it came off the production line, with no additions and nothing taken away, your insurance policy won’t need to be amended, even if it’s an older car. However, if you or a previous owner has made any modifications to the vehicle, this must be made clear.
There are two reasons for this to be important, and why, if you don’t mention it, you could invalidate your insurance policy if you are discovered. The first is that cars that have been modified are often more desirable to thieves and criminals, so there is a higher chance that they will be stolen. The second is that they can be more unsafe to drive for all kinds of reasons, including being given more power and possibly having reduced vision. In reality, with a modified car, you should be paying a higher insurance premium to cover these issues, so make sure you mention them when buying insurance.
Keeping Minor Accidents From Your Insurers
You might think that if you are involved in a minor accident that doesn’t require anything more than a few cosmetic touches, if that, that you don’t have to tell your insurance company about it. After all, you’re not making a claim, and you’re dealing with any damage yourself. This is likely to be what most people think.
However, if you look at the small print on your insurance policy, you’ll usually find a clause that says you must inform your insurer of any accident, no matter whether you are making a claim or not; not doing so is a breach of your policy and could invalidate your insurance. Although it might seem harsh, the reason behind this is just in case the other driver does decide to make a claim after all. Plus, if you make a claim for another accident later on and the previous damage is still there and doesn’t match with the claim you’re making now, you might not have the repairs paid for at all.
Driving More Miles Than You Thought
When you buy any car insurance premium, you’ll need to include your estimated annual mileage amount. The more miles you drive, the more you’ll need to pay since the more time you’re on the road, the more chance there is of being involved in an accident. It’s easy to play down the number of miles you drive either because you genuinely don’t know or because you want to pay less, but by not being accurate at this point, you could run the risk of invalidating your car insurance.
It is worth taking the time to calculate approximately the number of miles you will be driving and overestimate if you have to. Don’t just guess. If you are involved in an accident, you will need to give your mileage when you make a claim, and if it’s higher than it should be, you might not be able to claim at all because your insurance will have been invalid. This can lead to more problems than you need after an accident.
Letting Other People Drive Your Car
Car insurance can be a complicated thing, and you might think that, since you’re insured and your friend or loved one is insured, they can drive your car without any problems. The truth is that it will depend on your policy and their policy as to whether this is something you can do, and if you don’t check it out and your friend borrows your car and has an accident, you might be in for a nasty surprise when you find you can’t claim because you weren’t the driver and that your friend’s insurance won’t pay out because it wasn’t their car.
You Changed Jobs And Didn’t Inform The Insurance Company
Again, one of the questions that will be asked when you buy car insurance is what you do for a living. As with all the questions for car insurance, there is a reason behind it; in this case, the reason is that the insurers can use your occupation to determine how much of a risk you are and come up with a cost for the cover you’re seeking.
If you change your job, and especially if you change your entire occupation, you will need to let your insurers know as soon as possible. You might have to pay a little more, although you may actually receive a discount – or the price might stay the same, of course. Either way, keeping your insurers informed is essential if you want to have valid car insurance.