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The top dozy driver mistakes that could invalidate your insurance

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Written by: John Fitzsimons
10/08/2017
Millions of motorists are risking their cover by making daft errors, from picking the wrong footwear to forgetting to lock the vehicle.

A survey from price comparison site uSwitch has revealed some of the silly mistakes motorists are making, which risk invalidating their car insurance.

During July the firm quizzed drivers on some of their habits behind the wheel, revealing a number of unnecessary risks being taken. Indeed, the firm believes that as many as two-thirds of drivers are making simple errors which could leave them at risk of rejection should they ever need to make a claim.

For example, one in four drivers confessed to wearing inappropriate footwear, such as flip flops or high heels.

A similar number (24%) are sufficiently time-pressed that they admit to occasionally failing to lock their car, while more than one in five (21%) put off car maintenance when it is required and 16% forget to renew their car MOT on time.

What’s more, a quarter of drivers don’t realise these issues could allow a car insurance provider to reject a claim, with a further third (37%) confessing they simply forgot that such actions could impact their chances of a successful claim.

Here are the top ten mistakes drivers make which could invalidate their insurance:

  1. Wearing high heels or flip flops while driving (25%)
  2. Leaving the car unlocked (24%)
  3. Putting off car maintenance when required (21%)
  4. Forgetting to renew car MOT on time (16%)
  5. Letting pets roam free throughout the car (15%)
  6. Lending the car to friend or family members (14%)
  7. Failing to update details after changing job (9%)
  8. Attaching items to the rear-view mirror (9%)
  9. Forgetting to renew vehicle tax on time (9%)
  10. Underestimating mileage travelled every day (8%)

Rod Jones, insurance expert at uSwitch, said that with Brits increasingly time poor it was not surprising motorists may be forgetful when it comes to locking their car or renewing their MOT and road tax on time.

He added: “With claims now running into the thousands of pounds, people can’t afford to make a careless mistake that could invalidate their cover and leave them out of pocket. It is therefore really important that drivers note down their key renewal dates, and avoid making the easy to forget mistakes to ensure they are covered should they ever need to make a claim.”

According to figures from the Association of British Insurers (ABI), around 99% of motor insurance claims are paid out, though that still leaves more than 40,000 motorists seeing their claims rejected.

With the average claim now worth around £2,671, that’s a lot of money motorists could be putting at risk through needless gambling, particularly with car insurance premiums continuing to rise; the ABI reports that drivers in nearly all age groups are now paying record amounts for their car insurance, with further price increases set to hit before January 2018.

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