What do I need to tell my car insurance company?

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Once you have your car insurance policy up and running, do you know what you're expected to tell your insurer and when?

We've compiled this handy guide of information you may need to tell your insurer during your policy term.

This list is everything we ask our customers to tell us; if you're insured with another company, the things you need to tell them and when may vary. If you're unsure whether to tell your insurer something, you should ring them. 

Things you need to tell your insurer immediately

There are some things your insurer needs to know about straight away and certain information that — if inaccurate — could impact your policy. 

1. You have an accident

If you're unlucky enough to be involved in an incident, no matter how big or small, you must inform us. Even if you aren't planning on making a claim, the third party might, so we need to have your version of events. We also need to know about anything which could affect the condition or value of your car.

2. You sell your car

You need to let us know if you're no longer the registered keeper of the car to avoid being liable for anything that happens to it and to prevent invalidating the new owner's insurance.

3. You change your address

Where you keep your car is very important for lots of reasons. Certain areas are considered high risk for car crime and accidents, that's taken into account when you first start your car insurance policy.

You need to let us know when you change your address so we can contact you and send your renewal documents or any other important documentation to the right person. The same goes for your email address.

4. You change where your car is parked at night

If you usually park your car on the drive but now need to keep it on the street (or something like this), you need to let us know immediately just in case something happens. For example, if you've told us the car is on your driveway at night but someone smashes into it because it's parked on the road at midnight, it could invalidate your insurance.

5. You change your annual mileage

If you said you would do an annual mileage of up to 5,000 when you started your car insurance policy but find you're travelling a lot further than expected, you need to let us know immediately. Underestimating your annual mileage could invalidate your car insurance in the event of a claim.

6. You or your named driver's circumstances change

You'll need to let us know if your name, occupation or country of residence changes.

7. Your driving licence status changes

Whether it's you or your named driver, we'll need to know if there's a change to your licence in case you get pulled over by police and they need to check your details against the Motor Insurance Database.

If you've changed your name but not told us, it could land you in a sticky situation. You'd need to let us know if you or any named drivers have had your licence revoked, or suspended or if you've been banned from driving.

8. The registered keeper of the car changes

The registered keeper of the car isn't necessarily the car's owner - it's whoever is named on the DVLA V5C registration certificate. If you aren't the registered keeper of a car and you're not the main driver, you should check you're covered to drive it. 

Things you need to tell your insurer before you do them

If you're planning changes to your car or want to update your policy, you need to let your insurer know ahead of time. 

1. Modify your car

That doesn't just mean adding a rear spoiler to your BMW, you'll also need to let us know if you're re-spraying the car, making cosmetic changes or adding any modifications that affect performance. There's a chance we won't be able to cover the modification at all. A modification may also result in an increased premium, so it's best to find that out first.

2. Change your car 

A different car could well mean a different price. It's always better to find out before you buy a new run around whether you can get it insured — younger drivers may not be able to insure high-powered cars, for example — or if it will cost you a lot more. Ring customer services to let us know the make and model of your new car.

3. Change the use

If you suddenly start using your car for business but have previously only used it for social or commuting use, we'll need to know about it. You'll need to tell us before you start using your car for any alternative purpose, as we may be unable to cover certain occupations.

As we don't provide company car insurance, we'll need to know what the car will be used for. You'll also need to tell us if you need to change the use from social use only to commuting use or an alternative type of business use.

4. Let someone else drive

If someone is going to drive your car regularly, you'll need to add them as a named driver. It's important to tell us about this before they start driving your car to make sure your car has the right cover in place. We must know their name, age, occupation and driving history.

5. Change the car's registration plate

To avoid being pulled over by the police for having no insurance. The police can search the DVLA's database to check whether cars with certain registration plates are insured, if you drive past with a new plate but haven't updated your insurance, you could face points on your licence. Or worse, your car is being confiscated and crushed.

6. Drive abroad

Excluding those on Admiral's Essential tier, your car has cover in any country member of the European Union, and your insurance automatically includes an International Certificate of Motor Insurance. However, you should still call us beforehand to let us know you will be out of the country.

Things you need to tell your insurer at renewal

Some things can wait until it's time to renew your policy. 

1. Penalty points 

If you or any named driver get a fixed penalty or motoring conviction during your policy term, you must tell your insurer at renewal.

However, if you're banned from driving for any reason, you must tell your insurer immediately as they may need to cancel your insurance. If you don't tell your insurer, your insurance may be invalid and any claims on your policy may be rejected.

Always check your insurers' policy booklet. Find our policy documents and booklets here.

2. Any claims

You'll need to tell us about any accidents or incidents whether fault or non-fault that you or your named drivers have had during the previous year. Even if the claim wasn't made through us or was in a vehicle that isn't insured with us, you'll still need to let us know.

3. Anything that doesn't look right

If any information on your Motor Renewal Confirmation Form doesn't look right or has changed since last year, let us know so we can make sure everything is up-to-date.

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