Car insurance is compulsory, and although it covers all manner of bumps in the road, it’s worth checking what you’re covered for, and what could invalidate your cover…
- What are the different types of car insurance?
- What can invalidate my car insurance?
- What happens if my car insurance is invalid?
Car insurance gives you (and everyone else on the road) peace of mind when you’re driving. If you’re new to driving, you might not know about the various levels of cover available. So, whether you’re an experienced driver wondering if your car insurance policy is fit-for-purpose or you’re new to all this, sit back, relax and have a read…
What are the different levels of car insurance?
There are three levels of LV= car insurance:
This is the minimum cover that every driver must hold by law. It’s normally the cheapest cover available. It covers damage or injury you cause to other people and their property, but doesn’t actually cover for damage to your car.
Third party, fire and theft
This covers your car for damage caused by fire, theft and attempted theft, as well as claims from a third party if you’re involved in an accident.
This is the highest level of car insurance. It covers all of the above, plus the cost of repairing or replacing your car if it’s vandalised or involved in an accident.
We’ve written a pretty ‘comprehensive’ article about comprehensive car insurance which might be worth saving for later!
What does it mean if my car insurance is invalidated?
Invalidated car insurance means an action or the submission of incorrect information has lead to your insurer refusing your claim. This is also known as your insurance being 'null and void'. If your insurance is invalidated, and you have an accident, your insurer won’t pay-out.
What invalidates my car insurance?
We’re really proud at LV= to be well-known within the industry for paying out on the vast majority of claims we receive, but there are a few recurring claims we receive that we can’t pay-out for. Here at LV=, the main things that invalidates our car insurance policies, are:
- Drivers who aren’t named on the policy
- Theft of your car when keys were in the ignition, the engine was running or the car’s left unlocked
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Damage to a car you haven’t insured with us
- Using your car for deliveries
Let's get into the detail...
Drivers and vehicles not covered
By far (over half!) the most claimed-for issue which has invalidated cover, are drivers who have had an accident when they’re not covered on the policy. It might sound obvious, but even if it’s your partner’s car, you won’t be covered under their policy unless they’ve added you to their policy as a ‘named driver’. It’s also always worth checking that any family member or friend you allow to drive your car, has insurance that covers them to use your vehicle.
You may be insured with us under a separate (third party only) policy for ‘driving other cars’ (DOC), but even then, remember that it is third party only – so we’d only be able to pay for the injury to other people and damage to their property. Remember, DOC is really only for driving another car in an emergency, it’s not a substitute for having correct insurance for a vehicle.
‘Use’ of your car being invalid
Make sure you’re honest with your insurer when you’re setting up your policy.
If you’re using your vehicle for social, domestic and pleasure purposes then that’s great, but you must let them know if you start using it for commuting. Similarly, if you start commuting to more than a single place of work (e.g. making business visits to more than one place of work), you’ll need to add ‘business use’ cover to your policy, otherwise you won’t be insured in the event of an accident.
Similarly, you might’ve insured your child’s car in your name because it was too expensive for them to be the policyholder. This is called ‘fronting’ and is actually illegal and fraudulent. There are serious consequences to this and, as well as being incredibly costly to yourself, your details will likely be passed onto other agencies which will affect both of your insurance policies in the future.
For more on car insurance fraud, check out our article.
Where you keep your car
Another example is your car’s location. You must tell your insurer where your car spends most of its time when parked. If you move house or change where your car is parked overnight, you’ll need to let us know.
Lastly, under ‘use of your car’, incorrect annual mileage could mean we have to charge an additional premium on your insurance. If, for example, you tell your insurer that you drive 5,000 miles per year, but it turns out you’ve actually driven 10,000 miles in the last year, this may invalidate your policy or suggest that you’re using your car for a different use than that stated in your policy,
What happens if I invalidate my car insurance?
- Your claim could be denied: This means you won’t get a pay-out from your insurer. You’ll have to pay for any damage and repairs yourself, and may need to reimburse your insurer for any costs they pay due to legislation.
- You’ll be driving illegally: If you’re caught driving without insurance (even if you didn’t know your policy was void), you’ll likely be fined and given up to 6 points on your license.
- You’ll struggle to find cover: If your insurer has invalidated your cover, they may add you to a ‘blacklist’ which will mean getting insurance in the future could be much harder and much more expensive.
Some insurers may invalidate your cover for various other issues, such as if you accidently fill your car up with the wrong type of fuel. Here at LV=, we understand that life can be stressful and we all make mistakes. We provide cover not only for draining and flushing your fuel tank, but also for damage to your car engine caused by the wrong fuel.
If you’ve had an accident with another driver, it pays to find out if the other car is insured. If they’re not, don’t worry, here's what to do if you’re hit by an uninsured driver.
So, what are you waiting for? Take a look at those car insurance documents, and if you’re interested in finding out more about the different levels of cover we can offer you, fill out some simple info and we’ll give you a quote right now!