What changes do I need to tell my car insurer about?

March 6th, 2023
What changes do I need to tell my car insurer about?

No matter who your current car insurer is, there are a number of key changes that you need to inform them of. Some of these you may need to tell them about immediately as a matter of urgency, whilst with some others you may need to inform them in advance.

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What changes should notify your insurer of immediately?

There are several changes that you should notify your insurer of as a matter of urgency as they can impact significantly on your policy. The key ones here are:

1. If you have an accident

Accidents are annoying but are part and parcel of being a driver. Whether they are your fault or not, they can be something that has a significant impact on your policy in terms of premiums and can also affect the condition and value of your car. Therefore, one of the first things you should do after being involved in an accident (after ensuring everyone is safe etc.) is to contact your insurer and inform them. You should do this even if you are not intending to make a claim yourself. This is because your insurer needs your version of events on record to use as a defence if a third party makes their own claim.

2. If you sell your car

This may seem obvious, but a surprising number of people forget to inform their insurer when they sell their car. You need to let your insurer know as soon as you hand over your keys because otherwise you will potentially be liable for what happens to it even after that point. Additionally, the person who has bought it from you may discover that their insurance is invalidated.

3. If you move house or change your address

There are a number of reasons why you should let your insurance company know as soon as you change your address. Primarily, the location of the car is one of several factors used to determine your insurance premiums. This is because some areas are deemed higher risk for accidents and crime than others. In addition to this, they need to be able to contact you and know where to send important documents.

4. If you change where you park your car

Where you keep your car parked (particularly overnight) is an important factor in determining the cost of your insurance. Therefore, if you switch where you park, you need to inform your insurance company immediately so that they can make any adjustments to your policy. For example, if you originally told them that your car is always kept in a locked garage, but it is now going to be parked on the road or your driveway overnight, it is vital that you tell them. This is because if your car is broken into and your policy is based on outdated information, then your claim may be rejected.

5. If your annual mileage goes up significantly

Car mileage is one of the key factors used when calculating insurance premiums. If, when you took out your insurance policy, you told your insurer that you were likely to drive a maximum of say 5000 miles in a year, but you have exceeded this in just a few months, then you should let your insurer know. This is because underestimating your mileage can lead to a policy being invalidated or a claim being rejected (as the car’s condition may be different to that expected).

6. If you or your named driver’s circumstances change

If your (or your named driver’s) occupation, health status, main use of car, or country of residence changes then you will need to let your insurer know as soon as you can.

7. If your driving licence status changes

You will need to inform your insurer as soon as possible if you (or any named drivers on your policy) have had your driving licence revoked or if you’ve been banned from driving. Additionally, if your licence has been endorsed with penalty points, you need to let them know this. There may be a subsequent change in your premiums, but this is often dependent on the insurer and the nature of the offence.

8. If the registered keeper of the car changes

The registered keeper of the car isn’t always the car’s owner or main driver – it is whoever is named on the DVLA registration certificate [1]. If the registered keeper changes, you should inform your insurer to make sure that the correct cover is in place and the correct drivers are named on the policy.

What changes should you notify your insurer about in advance?

The above are changes that you should notify your insurer about as a matter of priority but there are also some changes that you should tell them about in advance. These include:

1. Wanting to change your car

A different car will usually mean a different insurance price. It is advisable to find out in advance how much a car that you have your eye on will cost to insure. So, before you go and buy a new one, ring your insurer and let them know the make and model so they can give you a quote. Alternatively, you could use a car insurance comparison tool such as Free Price Compare to get a rough price.

2. Change of use

If you intend to start using your car for different purposes than initially declared to your insurer, you will need to let them know in advance so that they can adjust the policy as necessary. Some insurers will not cover certain occupations, but most will cover you for business use if needed (as long as you tell them). The type of use can affect the likelihood of you being in an accident or of the car being damaged so the insurer needs to know how you will be using it going forward.

3. Letting someone else drive your car

If someone is going to be driving your car regularly then you will need to add them onto your insurance policy as a named driver. It’s important to tell your insurer about this BEFORE they start driving your car as they will need to ensure that the cover is correct. The premium will be affected by their age, occupation and driving history (amongst other factors).

4. Changing your car’s registration plate

Because the police use the DVLA database to check if a vehicle is insured, it is important that all details match. Therefore, if you intend to change the registration plate (perhaps to a personalised one), you need to inform your insurer and the DVLA so that all records are updated and correct [2]. This will help to avoid an awkward encounter with the traffic cops!

5. Driving abroad

Most insurance gives you cover in all European Union countries and will also usually include an International Certificate of Motor Insurance which will give you insurance in other countries. However, if you are planning on driving abroad, you should call your insurer to tell them you will be out of the country and get them to confirm that you are covered.

6. Modifying your car

If you are planning to make significant modifications to your car, you will need to let your insurer know in advance. Modifications can affect premiums and there are even some which can invalidate insurance entirely.

Modifications usually fall into one of two categories: performance or cosmetic. The most common performance modifications include changes to suspension, turbo upgrades, ECU tuning and remaps, changing the wheels and fuel system upgrades. The most common cosmetic modifications include respraying, adding go-faster stripes, installing a sunroof, tinting windows and installing speaker systems.

What are the insurance implications of modifying a car?

It’s fair to say that most modifications will increase premiums, but there are actually some that can reduce insurance costs. These include adding parking sensors and fitting an immobiliser or tracking device.

Modified car insurance

There is a reasonably large market for modified car insurance in the UK, meaning that those drivers looking for UK modified car insurance have a decent choice when it comes to selecting an insurance provider.

We work with a vast number of insurers which means we are able to help you compare modified car insurance quotes, find the cheapest modified car insurance policies, and even find specialist cover should you need it.

Modified car insurance policies are slightly different to general quotes and include young driver modified car insurance for those just starting their driving journey. Some specialists also offer classic modified car insurance for older cars that have been modified and are used for leisure. These policies often provide cover for extra parts or accessories that have been added and may also include agreed value clauses or salvage retention clauses.

How can I find the best modified car insurance?

You can use Free Price Compare today to compare quotes for modified car insurance.

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