Vehicle insurance: don’t let changing circumstances catch you with your pants down

One of the biggest stumbling blocks for people who have vehicle accident claims – and a cause of extra cost or delays – is failing to inform your insurer about change of user or purpose.

For example, when you took out your car insurance your children may not have been old enough to drive and you would naturally have excluded under 25s from your policy. Your children grow up, and suddenly your son uses the car daily to go to university… and that’s where the trouble begins.

Perhaps you were employed when you first took out your policy, but since then you have decided to go out on your own and start a business. This means your vehicle is no longer being used for private purposes, but for business… and that’s where the trouble begins.

The consequences of not changing these seemingly small details include having your claim declined, delayed or the difference in premiums (that you should have paid) being deducted from the total claim amount due you – all in all it’s harder on the back pocket and very inconvenient.

Most often the biggest delays come from crash investigators who may go as far as to request your cell phone to see if you were texting. They could investigate social media and even interview people at, for example, the function you or your son or daughter attended.

I have seen what staggering levels claim investigators – many ex-police – will go to in order to see how often your son uses the car, even asking the driver of the other vehicle whether he/she smelt alcohol on the driver at the time of the incident. They will write their own reports and request police incident reports –- all of these impact on your desire to simply see your car back on the road again.

The long and the short of it is to remember to regularly review your insurance cover and make sure it is up to date with your changing circumstances.

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