I wrote recently about the dangers of your home insurance being voided if you are working at home and have failed to inform your insurer. This has caused many consumers to contact me about other circumstances which will void not only your home insurance, but also your car insurance.
I always say it, if an insurance provider can wriggle out of paying out on a claim, it will. It is therefore vitally important that you play by their rules and disclose all necessary information both at the start of the policy, and during its term. Here are key things you need to know:
Whilst insurance providers are assuring me that working at home during the pandemic is not a problem, running your own business from home is. If you are doing this, it is important to inform your provider in writing, and ask for confirmation, in writing, that your policy is still valid.
I have also heard stories from readers who have had their policies rejected for failing to notify the insurance provider that they are renovating or putting their house up for sale.
Readers have been telling me that they have had their policies voided for failing to notify the insurance provider that they have changed their job, moved house, and that they have been in an accident but had the car repaired without making a claim.
Are the insurance providers entitled to do this?
In short, yes. The reason being that each of the above circumstances represents a change of circumstance that is potentially relevant to the insurer’s risk and exposure to a claim. For example, if you move to a new house, the area you move to may have a higher crime rate, therefore increasing the risk of a house break-in or car theft. If you have a car accident and fix it privately, you may have a substandard/cheap repair carried out which will put the car at risk of further issues, and therefore increase the chances of a future claim on your policy.
Many people are baffled as to how insurers find these things out if you do not inform them; Don’t be. Almost everybody has one or more social media accounts these days and many people have their profiles publicly available to view. This means that your provider can snoop on your social medial platforms and view what you are saying, and see the pictures you are posting. News of a new job or house move would naturally find its way on to your social media fee. The lesson learnt is therefore to lock down your social media pages so that only your chosen followers can see your posts.