How the most minor of accidents can invalidate your car insurance

How the most minor of accidents can invalidate your car insurance
How the most minor of accidents can invalidate your car insurance

Millions of drivers could be be risking their car insurance by trying to hide minor incidents from their policy provider.

A poll of UK motorists has found that more than half (58 per cent) wouldn’t inform their insurer of an incident or damage if the cost of the repair was smaller than their policy excess.

While such a move might seem the cheaper option it can lead to insurers cancelling your policy.

Compulsory notification

Most car insurance policies stipulate that you must inform the insurer of any accident or damage, even if it is minor and even if you don’t intend to make a claim.

Read more: Car insurance costs on the rise and worse is to come

The study, by LexisNexis Risk Solutions found that only 21 per cent of people would ‘definitely’ or ‘probably’ report a minor incident and only a third would report an incident involving another vehicle.

Insurers require you to report any damage, even if you don’t intend to claim. Picture: Shutterstock

It also found a significant age gap, with younger drivers more likely to own up to incidents. Forty-two per cent of 18-24-year-olds said they would inform their insurer of a minor accident compared with just 15 per cent of those over 45.

Drivers who had never made a claim or hadn’t claimed in the last five year were also least likely to make a declaration, suggesting many people fear they could lose their no claims discount.

Extra costs

Around half of drivers (48 per cent) fear that simply declaring an incident could affect their premium, with 60 per cent of those convinced it will lead to premium increases.

James Burton, product director of LexisNexis Risk Solutions, UK and Ireland, commented: “Consumers understandably feel nervous declaring information that could result in premium increases. This is a real concern as many motorists could be invalidating their policy, when instead they need to look at the bigger picture where factors such as the size of the claim, driving history, fault and policy details more often determine premium increases after claims.”

While you have to declare any damage to your insurer you’re not obliged to make a claim and can chose to pay for any repair yourself.

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