If life takes you down a different road, make sure your car insurer is one of the first to know.
You’ve bought the rings, ordered the cake and posted the invitations. If getting married means a new address or name, add updating your car insurance to your to-do list.
According to the Aviva UK 2018 claims report, we received close to 350,000 1 motor insurance claims in 2017 and more than 99% 1 were settled. But incorrect information on your policy could affect your chances of a pay-out, and that’s the last thing you want in times of trouble.
Here’s what you need to know about keeping your policy current when life, or your vehicle, changes.
When should you inform your car insurer of any changes to your policy information?
“The short answer is immediately. If you don’t inform your insurer as soon as possible, you’re at risk of invalidating your insurance,” says Aviva’s Digital Propositions Manager Nick Gibbs. “Very few of us read Ts and Cs, but it is in there – it’s your responsibility to keep this information up to date.”
What changes will your car insurer want to know about?
Tell your insurer if marriage, separation or divorce affects your personal information. Moving home is important, not just because you have a new address but because it could change where you keep your car.
Premiums take into account where you live, and certain postcodes are considered more high-risk than others. If you move from a sleepy village to a city centre and swap a secure garage or drive for on-street parking, you can expect your premium to rise.
If you get a speeding ticket or penalty points, are disqualified or have an accident (even if you weren’t at fault and aren’t planning to submit a claim) tell your insurer. If you need to, you can check your driving record and penalty history via GOV.uk. Also, you must let your insurer know if you're diagnosed with an illness that has to be reported to the DVLA.
Should you tell your insurer if you are planning to modify your vehicle?
Yes. Inform your insurer of any car modifications – either cosmetic alterations like a respray or work to boost the vehicle’s performance – before they are carried out. Do the same if you change your registration plate or the car’s primary use. Also, get in touch if your estimated annual mileage increases drastically.
It seems obvious, but don’t forget to update your insurer if you sell your vehicle and are no longer the registered keeper.
Will changes to your car insurance always increase your premium?
“It could end up having no impact at all on your premium,” says Nick. “But we still have to go through the process so we can requote and issue a new policy.”
How can you reduce the cost of your car insurance premiums?
The policy price is influenced by the age and occupation of the drivers, their experience and past claims, where they live, where they keep the car, what they use it for and the estimated annual mileage.
The vehicle itself has a huge impact – a second-hand run-around will cost less to insure than a shiny new set of wheels. Increasing your excess is another way to lower your premium.