What could jeopardise an insurance claim?

We all hope that we’ll never have to make a claim on our vehicle insurance. But if you do, it can be a nasty shock to discover that the validity of your claim could be in doubt.
So what factors might affect your chances of getting a payout? What action do you need to take after an accident to ensure you’re compensated?
And what might invalidate your insurance altogether, meaning that your provider rejects any claims you put in?
We’ve put together a list of 16 ways in which you might jeopardise or invalidate your insurance. Read on to find out more, and to discover when you might need specialist convicted driver insurance arranged by Insurance Factory to get you back on the road.

1. Not getting the basic details down

After an accident that causes injury or damage to property other than your own, you must stop as soon as it’s safe to do so.
You’ll need to provide or swap the following information with anyone else involved, or a police officer: name, address, contact details (phone number or email address), vehicle registration, and insurance provider.
Don’t discuss at the scene who was responsible for the accident. Just pass on the basic information when you call your provider, and they’ll handle the process for you.
If the other driver speeds off without stopping, get whatever information you can. It all helps your claim.
It goes without saying that if somebody has been hurt, your priority is to call an ambulance and get help.

2. Failing to report to the police

If you don’t exchange details, perhaps if the other driver speeds off, then you must report the accident to the police within 24 hours. You’ll need to provide insurance and licence details, too.
If it’s a serious accident, you should make an emergency call. And you must also inform police if you believe the accident was unlawful, for example, if you think the other driver was drunk or in a stolen vehicle.
Failure to stop and report an accident is a criminal offence that could lead to a driving ban, penalty points, a fine or even, in certain circumstances, jail. It can also be difficult to get car insurance after a conviction, so call Insurance Factory to arrange convicted driver insurance.

3. Failing to get a medical report

We’re lucky in the UK that we don’t need to pay for medical care. But if you’ve been injured, you might still accrue health-related expenses or want to seek compensation.
So make sure any injuries are documented promptly by professionals, and get photos to back them up.

4. Failing to supply additional information

In the aftermath of an accident, it can be difficult to think straight. Even if no serious harm was done, you might be confused – or simply desperate to get home and put it all behind you!
But try to keep a clear head. The more accurate information you can provide, the easier it is for insurance providers to process your claim. It can also help them determine who is at fault, which could protect your no-claims discount.
Take photos or video to show where the accident took place and how it happened – or draw a diagram if necessary. Take photos of any damage to your car or other property. Make a note of weather conditions, the time of day, and any other relevant information.
If there are any eyewitnesses, ask them what they saw, and get their contact details if they’re willing to give them.
Pass on all these details to your insurance provider as soon as possible. The police might want to see them, too.

5. Failing to tell your provider about an accident

If you’re in an accident, you should inform your insurer – even if you don’t plan on making a claim yourself.
This is largely because other drivers or people affected by the accident might want to make a claim on your insurance, so your provider needs to know as many details as possible.
Also, providers look at such incidents when calculating your future risk of making a claim, and use this to determine the cost of your premiums.
So if you don’t report an accident that could lead to a claim, you’re likely to be in breach of your policy terms and conditions.


6. Delaying your claim

You should report the incident to your insurance provider as soon as possible – ideally within 24 hours.
Many providers set time limits that you need to stick to, for example, two days or two weeks. If you delay starting your claim, you risk being in breach of their terms and conditions, and could jeopardise your claim. Check your own policy wording for the precise details.

7. Driving without a valid licence

Assuming you’re a responsible driver, you might think this would never apply to you.
But sometimes, drivers fall foul of licence categories: for example, they don’t think to check whether they’re entitled to drive larger vehicles than usual, or tow trailers.
Another issue might be forgetting to renew your licence. Or maybe you are supposed to wear glasses while driving, but left them at home that day. All of these can invalidate your licence, with potential implications for your insurance cover, too.
Again, it’s an offence to be in charge of a vehicle unless you’ve got a valid driving licence. You face penalties that could include penalty points or disqualification, and a fine. You’re also likely to encounter problems getting cover in the future: convicted driver insurance can help you get back on the road lawfully.

8. Driving an unroadworthy vehicle

It’s your legal duty to ensure that any vehicle you drive is safe to be on the roads.
Even if it’s passed its MOT, you should still carry out regular basic checks: tyres, water, screenwash, wipers, headlights and so on. It’s wise to get it serviced regularly to keep it in top condition, and so any issues are spotted early on.
If you have any concerns, or notice your vehicle is handling differently than normal, take it to your garage for a check. Better to be safe than sorry!
And keep your vehicle clean, too. If your windscreen is dirty, not only might you get a fine from the police, but if you’re in an accident, your insurance might be invalid.

9. Negligent driving

You can jeopardise your insurance claim through your own driving behaviour.
Driving while under the influence of drink or drugs is obviously out. Driving over the speed limit, or too fast for the weather or road conditions, can also contribute to accidents, as can using your phone behind the wheel.
So stick to the rules of the road – it keeps you and other road users safe, and ensures that if an accident does happen, your policy will be valid.

10. Failing to protect your valuables

If you’re making a claim for theft, either of the vehicle itself or its contents, your insurance provider needs to know that you didn’t basically invite thieves in.
One pretty common scenario is leaving your keys in the ignition with your heater on full blast to defrost a windscreen. If you then go inside your home to have a cup of tea, opportunists might seize their moment!
Another scenario might be leaving valuables such as a wallet or laptop in full view on your car seat.
Insurance policies will often require you to look after your keys and valuables, so your claim could be in jeopardy if you don’t.

11. Failing to disclose important information

When taking out your insurance policy, it’s important to supply accurate information. And if anything changes during the lifetime of the policy, you need to inform your insurer.
Sadly, some drivers do provide false information in a bid to lower the cost of their cover. And other people simply forget to update their provider when details change.
If you omit crucial details, or don’t reveal something when asked, this could invalidate any claims you later want to make. So any savings you make on your premium could mean you end up paying far more in the long run!
Let’s take a look at some of the most common omissions or inaccuracies.

12. Modifying your vehicle

Failing to tell your insurer that you’ve modified your vehicle could put any claim in jeopardy.
If you’ve boosted the speed or acceleration in some way, your insurer might feel your vehicle is more at risk of an accident, so they could want to adjust your premium accordingly.
Modifications that raise the value of your vehicle might also prompt your provider to raise their prices. This is because if you’re in an accident, it will cost your provider more to pay for repairs.
However, improved safety measures could actually bring the cost of your insurance down. Another good reason to do all you can to make your vehicle safe!
Of course, some modifications are merely cosmetic, and won’t affect your policy. But let your provider decide that, rather than risk discovering at a crucial moment that your policy is invalid.

13. Failing to disclose your claims history

Some drivers omit details of previous claims when switching to a new provider. If you’re found out, your insurance policy could be invalidated. Honesty is the best policy!

14. Fronting a policy for an inexperienced driver

‘Fronting’ is a fairly common issue. It’s when a more experienced driver takes out a policy with someone less experienced as a named driver – but in reality, the car is driven far more frequently by the novice.
Parents often do this as a favour for their teenage children, but it’s illegal and could mean that none of you are properly insured.

15. Failing to disclose penalty points

If you’ve been caught speeding or accrued penalty points for any other reason, you must inform your provider.
Penalty points are usually spent after five years, so you don’t need to disclose them after this point. But do check, as some stay on your record for longer.
Your insurance provider might ask you about other non-motoring convictions, too. If you’re struggling to get cover, ask us at Insurance Factory about insurance for convicted drivers.

16. Changing your car usage or personal details

Starting to use your vehicle for business purposes? Parking it on the street instead of a garage? Increasing your annual mileage? You need to tell your insurer.
Likewise, if you change your occupation or address, your provider needs to know. This isn’t just for administrative purposes: these factors are taken into account when calculating the cost of your premiums.
Take note: insurance fraud doesn’t just invalidate claims; it’s also a criminal offence. If you’re convicted of insurance fraud, you’re likely to find it difficult to get cover in the future. Specialist convicted driver insurance can help you get back on the road.


How do I make a claim?

Get in touch with your insurance provider as soon as you can after the incident. Usually, you’ll be able to fill in an online form to make a claim.
Follow their instructions as closely as possible. This is the very best way to ensure that your claim will be processed as quickly as possible.
You’ll need to provide as much information as possible about the incident, including any photos or diagrams. If it was reported to the police, you’ll need the reference number.
Good luck! We hope your claim goes smoothly, and you’re soon safely back on the roads.

Get a quote from Insurance Factory today

At Insurance Factory, we want you to have suitable vehicle insurance even if you’ve made mistakes in the past. So we don’t judge – we just search a range of trusted providers for policies that meet your requirements and budget.
We’ve got more than 20 years’ experience in arranging convicted driver insurance. Convictions we can arrange cover for include: drink-driving, insurance offences, speeding, dangerous or reckless driving, and non-motoring offences.
We’ll look at your circumstances, and find you deals that get you back behind the wheel safely and legally. Contact us today for a quote.