The purpose of car insurance is to protect you against expenses in the event of car damage or injuries to other drivers, passengers or pedestrians. Depending on the type of insurance that you are willing to pay for, you can also protect yourself financially against theft, natural disasters, and vandalism.
However, this essential financial protection for your car can unintentionally be voided, resulting in you being left without any cover.
What are the most common mistakes that result in voiding?
These are some of the most common sense mistakes that you could make that could void your insurance. They are all definitely worth keeping in mind whenever you get behind the wheel.
Driving while under the influence
Driving while under the influence of drugs and alcohol is the surest way of getting your insurance company to drop you like a hot potato. The best policy is no alcohol at all so that you don’t go over the BAC of 0.5%. If you refuse to take an alcohol or drug test within the legal time frame your insurer can also cancel your policy.
What about prescription medication?
If you are driving and are taking prescription medication, then you need to first check with your doctor or read the label. Medications often have side-effects that may put you and the lives of others in danger. These include dizziness, drowsiness, aggression and some also slow down the reflexes.
It is illegal to drive dangerously on public roads. Performing burnouts or donuts, also known as hooning, is considered dangerous driving. The same applies to drag racing and driving at excessive speeds. Insurance companies will not cover the driver or any passengers of an accident that is the result of deliberate irresponsible driving.
What about taking part in track days or rallies?
It is legal to drive your car fast at any of these events but your insurance won’t cover you. You will need to purchase a relevant motorsports car insurance policy.
Be honest when insuring your car
If you have purposefully misled your insurer then chances are that your policy will be voided. One mistake made by many people is claiming to have a garage, when in fact they don’t. This would lead to the insurer not paying out if the vehicle is stolen. Other questions that insurers ask are related to your driving and insurance history and these can be double-checked.
Modifying your car
These are upgrades that many people make to their car after purchasing and are not included in the specifications. Car modifications include applying window tints, changing the tyre rims, lowering or raising the car, and fitting other non-standard accessories.
Why will a modified car void the insurance?
If you have insured your car with the specifications that you bought it with and then made modifications you will need to notify your insurer. The insurance can be voided because the modifications may change the value of the car or increase the likelihood of theft. Tampering with some parts of the car can affect its roadworthiness, performance, and safety.
Incorrect loading and towing
If you are towing a trailer it has to be properly secured to your vehicle. The manufacturer of your car will tell you what the legal limit is. Laws concerning loading your car also need to be kept in mind and applied. There is a limit to how many passengers you can carry and any other loads need to be properly secured before you travel.
Will you be covered if you accidentally top up with the wrong fuel?
Unfortunately, you will not be covered in the event that you absent-mindedly or accidentally fill up with the wrong fuel. If this does happen, its best to not start the engine at all as it will be far more costly to correct.
Can you let anybody drive your car?
No, only nominated drivers will be covered by your insurance and you will be liable for an excess in the event of an accident. If they are under 25, the excess will be almost double.
What other responsibilities does the policyholder have?
Keep in mind that as a car insurance policyholder you have certain responsibilities to meet. These protect you from having any problems in the event of a claim. They include keeping the car in a roadworthy condition, taking all reasonable precautions to prevent damage from accidents and other natural phenomena like rising waters, and always keep it locked to ensure that it is protected against theft.
Important information to know about your insurance
If you have not paid your insurance premium then it will be void. Ensure that it is always paid on or before the due date and if you are forgetful the safest way to remember is with a debit order.
Some insurance policies won’t cover you for natural disasters for the first 48-72 hours of your policy. Always check the details of your policy before signing otherwise keep the car away from floods, named cyclones, bush fires, etc. for the first three days.