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Most commonly rejected car claims

Most commonly rejected car claims

Cars are expensive to run, and the insurance drivers are required to have by law is one of the biggest costs, sometimes running into thousands of pounds.

And having to make a claim on your car cover can be immensely frustrating, as well as potentially costly; not only might you lose your no claims bonus, there’s also a relatively significant chance the claim could be rejected.

5% of all claims are rejected

Claim rejection is not an unusual occurrence; according to consumer champion Which?, 5% of all claims made are either completely or partly rejected.

Claims are most commonly rejected due to the insured breaching the conditions of a policy and its exclusions (all policies have exclusions of some sort or other).

Taking a look at the most common reasons car cover claims aren’t accepted can help drivers to avoid the pitfalls that comes with cover, and even help you to choose the right sort of policy.

Here are the most frequent reasons claims are rejected:

  • ‘Fronting’ – Some people insure a car in the name of someone who is not actually the main driver (known as ‘fronting’) as it can result in lower premium costs.
  • Driving without an up-to-date, valid licence – Some people commonly overlook that their driving licence has to be current and up-to-date (e.g. with your current address showing).
  • Poor eyesight – Some people might think their eyesight is okay, when it’s not. Others might know it’s not great, but choose not to wear glasses for aesthetic reasons. Insurers can ask for eyesight tests after a claim is made.
  • Failure to disclose – Failing to tell an insurer about previous driving accidents, claims, fines and convictions is, for obvious reasons, not allowed.
  • Commuting or ‘business’ purposes – Stating when you took out your cover that you only use you vehicle for ‘social, domestic and pleasure purposes’, when you in fact drive to work in it.
  • ‘Hiring’ out your car – Obviously if someone pays you to drive your car that isn’t named on your insurance, it’s going to invalidate a claim. But even profiting from a car share arrangement, for example if someone pays you to pick them up and drop them off from work, can lead to problems.
  • Extra mileage – When you give an estimate of your annual mileage to an insurer it’s assumed that it’s just that; an estimate. However, grossly underestimating your mileage (and insurers do check in the event of a claim), could invalidate your cover.
  • ‘Garaged’ cars which are left on the road – Leaving your car on the street when you’ve stated you leave it in your garage.
  • Modifications – Modifying a vehicle, even slightly, and not telling the insurer. This can be as simple as altering the badge.
  • Out-of-date MOT certificate – Insurers need to see an MOT certificate that’s not out-of-date.
  • Overloading a vehicle – Packing a car to the point where it’s considered ‘overloaded’, either with people or possessions, or both.
  • ‘Negligent’ behaviour – Leaving car windows open, doors unlocked, and keys in the ignition when the vehicles unattended.
  • Failure to notify the police – The police must be notified of anything illegal occurs involving it, such as theft or malicious damage, and a crime reference number obtained.
  • Failure to report an accident – Accidents which are claimed for after time has elapsed, which the insurer wasn’t notified about originally.
  • Admitting liability – Unfortunately, you should never admit liability for an incident. Only your insurer can do so, acting in ‘your name’.
  • Unpaid premiums – Premiums might go unpaid if you move banks and your direct debits aren’t transferred correctly, for example.

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Published 13 June 2014