You take out car insurance to protect yourself from expensive claims for damages if you are involved in an vehicle-related accident. If you damage another person's car or property, or if you injure another person, the victim(s) can sue you for damages. Basic car insurance is called third-party insurance, which covers you against damage or injury that you may cause to others while driving your car. Full comprehensive car insurance typically covers you against damage to your own vehicle, and also insures you against the theft of your vehicle. A number of conditions may invalidate your insurance.
If you are an unlicensed driver and you drive a vehicle on public roads, this will invalidate your insurance policy. Car insurance policies will only cover a person who is licensed to drive the vehicle, even if the policy is paid in full. As an unlicensed driver involved in an accident, you will be personally liable for any damage of injury caused. If the accident is the fault of another driver, and that driver does not have insurance, you will not be able to claim against your own insurance policy to get your car repaired, even if you have comprehensive insurance.
Your insurance policy covers you and any other named drivers listed on the policy. Parents often list their eligible children as named drivers, so that the children can drive the family car, and married couples who both drive typically list both partners names on their auto insurance policies. If you allow a person who is not named on your insurance policy to drive your car, your insurance may not be valid if the unnamed driver is involved in an accident. In certain circumstances, insurance companies will themselves include the names of potential drivers who are not covered by your policy. This may happen, for example, if the insurance company is aware that you have a child with numerous traffic violations, or has a suspended license. If the named, excluded driver is driving your car, your insurance is invalid.
If you are driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, your insurance may be invalid. If your insurance policy contains a clause stating that the insurance policy is void if you were driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, your insurance company may not pay for any damage you cause. You should check your policy for exclusion clauses listing circumstances and behaviour that will invalidate your insurance coverage.
If you include false information on your car insurance application form, your insurance may be invalid. For example, your application form may ask if your car is parked in a locked garage on your property overnight. If you answer yes, but habitually park your car on the road outside your property overnight, or if your property does not even have a garage, this may invalidated your insurance and any claims for theft or damage to your vehicle will be rejected. If you fail to disclose information regarding any traffic offence convictions, this may also invalidate your insurance.
Non-Payment of Premiums
You may pay your car insurance by instalments. If you miss a payment, your insurance policy may contain a clause stating that the policy is not valid until all payments are brought up to date.