10 motoring misdemeanours that could invalidate your car insurance

Toy figure singingResearch has revealed that millions of motorists are making daily driving decisions that could unwittingly invalidate their car insurance. Figures from the Association of British Insurers show that 99% of car claims are paid-out and just 1% rejected. However, that means 43,000 motorists are left out-of-pocket and we want to make sure that you aren’t one of them.

To err is human and we all make mistakes from time to time, but what’s worrying about the findings is that a quarter of drivers didn’t know they were doing anything wrong, and another third had ‘forgotten’ that their dodgy driving habits could impact a claim. Reasons for rejected claims range from the obvious (forgetting to lock-up) to the obscure (wearing flip-flops) and we look at the ten most common causes.

Functional Footwear At the top of the list 25% of motorists admitted to wearing inappropriate footwear behind the wheel. Flip-flops and high heels could affect your control of the vehicle and be reasonable grounds for rejecting a claim, and you could even be prosecuted for causing an accident.

Open Doors Failing to lock your vehicle makes life easy for car thieves and is an obvious risk factor, which makes it more surprising that 24% of motorists confessed to the oversight.

Maintaining Standards The Highway Code states that your vehicle must be roadworthy and that means checking everything from tired tyre treads to blown bulbs. Despite the fact that delaying repairs could be both dangerous and illegal; 21% of motorists take the gamble.

Testing Times Echoing the above point 16% of motorists fail to get their MOT done on time.

Roaming Free As a nation of pet lovers we are often guilty of overindulging our four-legged friends, but giving your pet the run of the car is a distraction that could be dangerous.  It’s a breach of Rule 57 of the Highway Code that reads “Make sure dogs or other animals are suitably restrained so they cannot distract you while you are driving or injure you, or themselves, if you stop quickly”. Nevertheless 15% of drivers don’t restrain their pets and risk being charged with driving without due care and attention.

Family & Friends 14% of car owners admitted to lending their vehicle to someone they trust, without checking their insurance. Comprehensive insurance may cover policyholders for Driving Other Cars (DOC) but it isn’t as common as you might think. It’s also worth noting that DOC cover is typically limited to third party liability.

Career Change Insurance premiums are calculated to reflect risk, and when it comes to driving; some professions are riskier than others. Policyholders are obliged to tell providers of any changes in personal circumstances which could affect premiums (including changing jobs and moving house), nevertheless 9% of drivers fail to keep their insurer informed.

Dashboard Decorations Whether it’s fluffy dice or a forest of air fresheners hanging from your rear-view mirror; if you’re in the 9% of drivers restricting your own vision, we recommend you ditch the decorations.

Taxing Times 9% of motorists don’t renew their road tax on time and risk a £1,000 fine. Not only is it illegal, but if they are involved in an ‘at fault’ accident they will be liable to cover the cost of repairs to both vehicles.

Long Haul The more time you spend behind the wheel; the more likely you are to have an accident. However, 8% of motorists try to fudge the facts by underestimating their annual mileage, which could leave them short-changed.



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