If you lie or choose not to disclose about certain information when you get a car insurance policy, your insurer might reject your claims and terminate your policy. There might be other consequences too. We explain these in more detail.
It might be tempting to tell the occasional fib to cut the size of your car insurance bill. But when it comes to buying a motor policy, being economical with the truth could end up costing you dearly.
What happens if I lie to my insurance company?
If you lie to your insurer:
- Your policy could be invalidated or terminated
- Your claims could be rejected
- Claims made against you might not be paid out
- You could face additional charges
- You might have to tell future insurance companies about your non-disclosure
- Other mainstream insurance companies might refuse to insure you
If you lie or don’t answer your insurer's questions, it’s called non-disclosure. By doing this, you run the risk that any claim you make might not be paid and your policy terminated.
This applies even if the inaccurate information has no bearing on your claim.
What wrong information could invalidate my car insurance policy?
Your insurer could invalidate your car insurance if you’ve failed to disclose relevant or important information. Particularly if the company thinks you’ve done this to get a cheaper car insurance price.
Some common types of misreported information are:
If you're making alterations to your vehicle that could change how it performs or make it more valuable, it’s important to let your insurer know in advance.
Modifications such as a larger exhaust or expensive wheel trims are likely to increase your costs.
By contacting your insurer before you make modifications, you can find out how much more you have to pay for your insurance.
This can help you decide whether the changes are worth the extra expense.
How you use the vehicle
Make sure you accurately declare how you’re using your car.
For example, you say your car is to be used solely for ‘social, domestic and pleasure’ reasons. But then if you use it as part of your job, you could put your cover at risk.
You should also let your insurer know if you use your vehicle to commute to work, even if it’s just driving to the train station. If you’re regularly on the road during rush hour there’s a greater chance you could be in an accident.
Who's driving the car
You should make sure you're the main driver of the policy if that's what you've told the insurer.
Sometimes, people declare themselves as the main driver of the policy when it's actually someone else. This is an illegal practice known as fronting.
For example, a parent might say they’re the main driver and list their child as an additional driver, even though it's the child who’s driving it most.
Those who commit fronting do it to try and save money. Young driver car insurance tends to be considerably more expensive. But costs tend to be lower if the young person is a named driver.
Different areas have different crime rates, and where you live might have an impact on the likelihood of your car being stolen.
For example, using a postcode 2 streets over from you might give you difference insurance costs. But if you lie about your address, your policy might be invalidated, leaving you without cover.
Some professions carry higher risks than others. This means your insurance could cost more depending on your job.
For example, in our recent study, we found that a those in the civil service had the cheapest insurance costs over all. Fast food delivery drivers had the most expensive insurance policies.
When you're getting insurance, be as accurate as you can about your profession. If you lie about your profession to get cheaper costs your insurance could be invalid. You could even be charged with insurance fraud.
Do I need to inform my insurance company of a speeding ticket?
If you're fined or otherwise penalised for speeding, you usually only need to tell your insurer about it when you come to renewal. The same applies to any motoring convictions that leave penalty points on your licence.
If you choose to take a speed awareness course instead of penalty points you usually don’t have to let your insurer know until you come to renew your policy.
How long do you have to declare points for insurance?
Points for motoring offences normally stay on your licence for 4 years. But if you’ve had a prison sentence for 4 years or more, the conviction will always be ‘unspent’.
If you get a quote with us, we’ll ask for any points you've had in the past 5 years – so you might need to declare penalty points even though they’re ‘spent’.
We'll also ask you:
- The date of the driving conviction
- The driving conviction code
- The number of points for the conviction
- The fine amount
- The ban length (if there was no ban, you enter 0)
- Whether you were breathalysed
- Whether the offence was accident related
- Whether you have any unspent motoring convictions
How to get cheaper car insurance the right way
There are several legitimate ways to help reduce your car insurance:
Fit car security devices like alarms or immobilisers and park off the street overnight.
Avoid modifications that are designed to make your car stand out or perform better.
Choose a higher voluntary excess. This normally reduces your costs, although it does mean that you might have to contribute more to the cost of any claim out of your own pocket.
Consider getting a black box insurance policy, particularly if you’re a younger, less experienced driver. Black box insurance could also be worth looking at if you don't use your car much and have a low annual mileage.
Get a dash cam fitted. Some insurers offer discounts to drivers with dashcams.