How much should you tell your car insurer?

What should you tell your car insurance company? What happens if you don’t?

Insurance is based on criteria and risk rather than hard and fast rules. This can make it confusing when it comes to updating your details, will it mean an increase in premium or worse could your insurance no longer be valid – so how much should you tell your insurer?

The safest and wisest option is to tell your insurer of any change to your personal details and especially any changes you decide to make to your vehicle. It may sound a bit over the top or even a bit rich coming from an insurance broker, but we at Heritage Insurance have been around the block a few times, in fact we’ve been insuring classic cars since 1965 so we’ve seen the good, the bad and the ugly.

There’s no such thing as less is more.

As you probably are aware of, insurance can be a pain. It’s all dependent on risk factors and statistics so it can sometimes feel as though the less you tell your insurer (or more importantly what exactly you tell them) the cheaper your premium will be. Although in some instances that may indeed be the case, in the end the cost really doesn’t outweigh the risk. Honesty really is the best policy, especially when it comes to specialist vehicle insurance such as classic or modified vehicles as you may even find that your insurance broker is able to find you a better policy more suited to you and your vehicle.

Contract of utmost good faith.

When taking out an insurance contract…or policy, this is seen as a ‘contract of utmost good faith’ which means that all parties involved in the signing of said contract have done so with full disclosure and that you’ve both been honest and frank with each other. Meaning you should tell your insurer all ‘material facts’ or relevant details about the vehicle and risk you are looking to cover. Any changes made regarding these material facts which would affect the risk during your time of cover should be disclosed to your insurer. Not doing so could mean that should you make a claim you then find that your insurance is invalid or you’re not covered – unless you unknowingly gave incorrect or incomplete information at the time; refer to the Consumer Insurance Act 2013 or more information.

So for example, if you took out insurance on your vehicle having standard stock wheels and changed these to alloy wheels but didn’t tell your insurer – it’s not like you’ve made changes to the engine or something right? However, in the event of a claim you would only be rein-burst for the standard wheel.

Do I need to tell my insurer if I change jobs?

There may be times when a change to your material facts or circumstances means that your premium may increase; for example if your job originally meant you commuted to and from one permanent place of work but you’ve either been promoted or changed jobs and you now need to regularly travel further afield – this change in circumstances could affect the risk factors for which your original cover was based upon so it’s best to tell your insurer of any changes to your personal details.

Should I tell my insurer if I change address?

This is a must, your insurance company needs to know your address to send your policy documents. There could also be an increase in risk factor because of a change in your address. Insurance companies rate postcodes based on crime statistics so if you were to move to an area which they consider to be more of a risk this may mean that there would be a change to the criteria of your policy, which could lead to an increase in the price of your premium. However, as mentioned previously if you fail to tell your insurer of a change of address this could mean that your insurance may then be void and no longer valid.

Do I need to tell my insurer of any accidents or convictions?

Again this can depend on who your insurance is with and what your policy says, but as everything else we take the view that’s it’s better to be safe than sorry. It’s rare thahow much should you tell your insurert you would have to pay an increase in your premium midway through a policy because of an accident or conviction as it’s more likely this will simply be noted and then you may see an increase in price (depending on the type or accident or conviction, and your insurer) when your policy is due for renewal.

So how much should you tell your insurer?

Well we believe you should keep your insurer up to date on any change to your circumstances or vehicle. It’s better to be safe than sorry and as ever insurer has a different viewpoint and criteria it’s difficult to know whether that little detail is really important, or not. If you’re still unsure, think of it like this – was your policy based around this factor. For example when taking out a policy was it part of the criteria that you own a second vehicle? Then you should probably tell your insurer if you now don’t.

We hope that clears things up a little, insurance can be obscure and confusing so if you have any further questions or would like to update us of any changes to your circumstances or vehicle speak to a member of our team by calling 0121 248 9229.