It can be easier than expected to invalidate your car insurance.
Searches for ‘what can invalidate your insurance’ have risen 133% in the last 12 months totalling 2,140 searches by Brits.
Brits were also found to be interested in modifications which without declaration can invalidate insurance. ‘Personalised number plates’ received an average of 3,840,240 searches on Google over the last 12 months, followed closely behind by ‘alloy wheels’ with 3,530,160 average searches.
We can see that personalised number plates and alloy wheels are the most popular, however, other car modifications have a significant search volume such as LED car lights with an average of 297,360 searches annually, highlighting that Brits are looking to make modifications to their cars at home.
In addition to using Google to search for insurance invalidating topics, monthly searches for ‘car modifications’ have also risen on social media platforms. On YouTube, searches have risen by 18%, reaching a monthly average search volume of 36,950. Search volumes have also risen by 28% on TikTok, reaching an average of 7,190 monthly searches.
Searches for ‘can I drive someone else’s car on my own insurance’ also equate to 55,440 annually on Google. By doing this when not insured correctly, you could be at risk if invalidating your policy.
Leoni Moninska, Uswitch car insurance expert said, “It is important to remain vigilant and understanding of the small factors which may invalidate your car insurance. If your car insurance is not valid, you may be unable to claim car repair costs in case of an accident.
“Whether that be keeping your personal details up to date or declaring personalised number plates, these small changes will ensure that you are covered on the roads.”
Leoni Moninska highlighted some easy mistakes that may invalidate your car insurance, and tips on how to avoid them:
Driving someone else’s car: It may be tempting to borrow a friend or family member’s car that you are not insured on. However, driving when you are not named on a policy can invalidate any possible insurance when needing to make a claim. If you need to borrow someone else’s car, look into taking out flexible temporary car insurance instead.
Not declaring modifications made to your car: If you do not make your insurer aware of any modifications that you have made to your car, you risk the policy being invalidated. This is because modifications often increase the car’s value, therefore putting it at higher risk of being stolen. Not all modifications will automatically invalidate your insurance, so be sure to confirm with your provider.
Not declaring a personalised number plate: Similarly to car modifications, if you have been gifted a personalised number plate this Christmas or decide to purchase one for yourself, you need to ensure that you make your car insurance provider aware as these make your vehicle more desirable and therefore higher risk. You may also risk facing points on your licence.
Having incorrect personal details on your policy: Incorrect personal details on your policy may void your insurance when you need to make a claim. Common changes that impact the validity of your insurance are:
Changing job: If you decide to have a career change or take on a second job, you will must let your car insurance providers know, as these factors will need to be risk assessed.
Moving house: A change of address is vital information that your provider will need to be aware of. Where you live can impact the level of risk to your car, and therefore the cost of the insurance.
Make your insurance provider aware of any significant changes even if you have already begun your policy. This is called a mid-term adjustment. It will ensure that you are covered if any claims are to be made.
Selecting the wrong class of use: The class of use refers to how you intend to use your car to insurance providers. When a new policy is taken out, you will be asked which class of use you would like to insure your car for from the following:
Social, Domestic and pleasure only (SDP)
SDP and commuting
Personal business use
Even driving to the station to get on a train to the office counts as commuting in terms of class of use, so it’s important to ensure you choose the correct class of use – otherwise it could leave you with an invalid policy.