How Britons risk voiding their car and home insurance

Modern suburban family houses with car on driveway

Did you know you might be voiding your home or car insurance without realising it? It’s surprisingly easy to do. Here’s a look at some of the main ways that Brits accidentally void their insurance policies. 

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Ways you might be voiding your car insurance

According to research by MoneySuperMarket, around 16% of drivers don’t know they’ll void their car insurance if they don’t tell their insurer when they change jobs. How else might you invalidate your car insurance, though? Well, here are some common – and surprising – mistakes:

  • Driving with your pet in the car without a restraint – making you more prone to distractions that could cause accidents.
  • Failing to tell your insurer if you move house – your details aren’t accurate and this risk of parking at your new address is not taken into account by your insurer.
  • Modifying your car without telling the insurer – some modifications make your car more tempting for thieves. 
  • Changing where you park overnight – some locations are less secure than others. 

If your car insurance is void, your insurer will reject any claim you make on your policy. So, it’s as if you don’t have any cover at all! 

Ways you could be voiding your home insurance

More than a quarter (27%) of people don’t know they’re voiding their home insurance by leaving a window unlocked when they leave their home, according to MoneySuperMarket’s research. Here are some other surprising ways you might void your policy without knowing: 

  • Leaving a door unlocked when you leave home – making it easier for someone to break in.
  • Someone staying with you for a few weeks – you must declare a lodger to keep your policy valid.
  • Posting pictures while you’re on holiday – showing burglars that your house is empty.
  • Going away for more than 30 days without notifying your insurer – again, you’re considered to be leaving your house vulnerable. 

When you void your home insurance, it’s like the policy never existed. The policy won’t cover you for any damage, loss or theft. 

Keeping your home and car insurance valid

The easiest way to preserve your home and car insurance? Make sure you understand all of the terms of your policy. Go back through your insurance documents and give your insurer a call if there’s anything you’re unsure about or your cover isn’t suitable for your needs.

Remember, if you invalidate your insurance, you won’t be covered if things go wrong. So, ensure you’re clear on exactly what your policy covers to avoid hefty unexpected costs. Here are some other tips for preserving your policies: 

  • If you tell your insurer you have a fire alarm, make sure it’s working.
  • Keep garden furniture locked away in a secure place, like a shed. 
  • Tell your insurer if you modify your car in any way. 
  • If you’re the victim of a crime affecting your home or car, tell the police and report it to your insurer immediately. 

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Takeaway

As you can see, it’s surprisingly easy to void your car or home insurance. If you invalidate your policy, you might find it harder to get cover in the future, so it pays to keep your insurance valid.

Is your cover not suitable for your needs anymore? Don’t forget you can shop around for a new policy, and price comparison sites are a good place to start. Check out sites like MoneySuperMarket and Confused.com to enter some basic details and get some quick quotes.   

The post How Britons risk voiding their car and home insurance appeared first on The Motley Fool UK.

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