Beware of the Small Print: The Easiest Ways to Invalidate Your Insurance
European roads see hundreds and thousands of new drivers every month, and with that come thousands of new insurance policies. Worryingly however, only a handful of new and seasoned motorists alike actually check the small print on their insurance, leaving them all too open to breaches of their terms and conditions. Unless you’re familiar with the ins and outs of your cover, it’s very easy to invalidate your car insurance, which can easily lead to a hefty bill, points on your license and even prosecution. So, just what can invalidate your insurance policy?
Modifying Your Car
When it comes to modifying your car, expect nothing less than a mammoth hike in your insurance premium. From spoilers to turbos, it can be tempting not to notify your insurer about any modifications you’ve made, as the last thing you’ll want to do is fork out more money on your car. However if you don’t, you certainly won’t be covered for your extras, and your insurer can instantly void your policy. This means if you crash, you’ll be paying out of your own pocket to repair your car, as well as any others you damage.
Driving Your Car Abroad
Most insurance policies will provide some degree of cover within Europe, however the vast majority of this cover is third party only. Depending on your insurer, you may be required to purchase additional cover if you’re planning to take your car abroad, and you’ll probably be asked to state the countries you’ll be traveling through too, as some places in Europe have higher rates of road accidents than others.
From the Nurburgring to Silverstone, nearly all insurance policies will be immediately void if you drive your car on a race track. Even if your policy does cover track driving, there will no doubt be a number of clauses that will prevent the insurer for paying out altogether, or paying out for anything other than car-related damage, such as damage to parts of the track if you do crash.
Driving With Illegal Tyres
There’s a reason why tyres are inspected during an MOT, and that’s because of the increased risk worn treads present on the roads. If you happen to have a crash, and the quality of your tyres comes into question, insurance companies can void your insurance due to lack of tyre quality, something which is inherently the driver’s responsibility. Furthermore, if you insure your car with run-flat tyres, and subsequently change them to a different kind of tyre, insurers will see this as a modification, and can again void your insurance.
This post was written by Hiten Solanki
*Editor’s note: The above article relates to insurance policies within the UK. These statements may or may not hold true for insurance policies in other European countries.