Drivers must have valid car insurance to drive on UK roads, and at least third party cover. It doesn’t stop there though – while you must ensure you have cover, you may be surprised to hear what could invalidate your car insurance and leave you unprotected.
1. Driving without an MOT
Skipping your annual MOT isn’t an option if you want to ensure your car insurance policy remains valid.
Anyway, this is for your own safety, and the safety of other road users. It’s essential you put a date in your diary to take your car into the garage.
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2. Failing to update the basics
You risk invalidating your car insurance and incurring fines if you fail to keep your insurance up-to-date with your address, for example, and any job changes.
Your insurer is a key institution that must be kept informed of any changes to your basic details.
If you fail to inform your insurer about a job change, you could find a claim turned down. Your particular employment is considered as part of your risk profile when calculating your premium. Make sure it’s accurate, and call your insurer if you change careers.
You are legally required to tell your insurer the truth, so don’t be tempted to lie to slash the cost of your car insurance. This also includes if you change what you use your car for – such as from personal use to business.
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3. Failing to disclose modifications
Putting some stickers on your car's rear windscreen, or changing your car’s upholstery may be a personal choice, but these could be considered ‘modifications’ that insurers need to know about.
Any changes could alter the value of your vehicle, and therefore boost its risk of theft. If you make an insurance claim after failing to tell your insurer about any modifications, you risk it being rejected.
Some insurers have long lists of any changes – even putting stickers on a rear windscreen – that they’ll want to know about, and that you need to inform them of to avoid having your car insurance cancelled.
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4. Charging people for lifts
Of course, it’s fine to drive family and friends around. However, if you start accepting cash for lifts and making a profit from it, you’re in dangerous territory on the insurance front.
Remember being honest about your job? This risks putting you into ‘taxi’ box, so you’d best talk to your car insurer to see where you stand.
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5. Failing to renew your licence when you turn 70
If you want to continue driving past age 70, as many of us do, you’ll have to renew your licence.
Two months before your 70th birthday, you should receive a renewal notice.
Complete the forms, and if you need any help go to gov.uk/contact-the-dvla.
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