Lifestyle Guides

11 things which could invalidate your car insurance

Nobody wants to find out their car insurance is invalid, so we've put together a handy guide to stop it happening to you


As we all know, car insurance is a legal requirement on UK roads and since continuous enforcement legislation came into effect in 2011 it’s essential there aren’t any gaps in your car insurance cover.

There can be a lot of information to provide when you arrange your car insurance so it’s understandable that errors can sometimes be made but, as mistakes could invalidate your insurance, it’s important to double check your information.

To help you stay fully insured and not risk losing out if you do get into an accident or need to make a claim, we’ve put together 11 things which could invalidate your insurance.

1. Lying to lower your price

Tempting though it may be to bend the truth around your occupation or how far you actually drive during the course of a year to lower your premium, any fibs you tell could result in your insurance policy being worthless.

Knowingly misrepresenting your insurance policy could result in your insurance policy being cancelled or worse, voided.

2. Misplaced car

We appreciate there are some nights where you and your car will spend the night away from home and that’s fine, but if you’ve said your car will be kept at one address but it’s actually at a different postcode every night it could result in your insurance failing to cover your car.

Make sure you tell us honestly where your car will be the majority of the time and if this changes at anytime during the policy term you need to inform us.

3. Not keeping in touch

If anything changes during your policy term you need to let us know – obviously this is anything noted on your policy schedule!

A new job may mean you’ll require business use or be travelling more miles every day and a new address could mean different risks altogether.

We appreciate policy booklets aren’t the most riveting things to read but they’re there for a reason so it’s really important you take a look at them. There’s even a section which explains what you need to tell us about and when.

4. Using a middle-man

Admiral is a direct insurer so unless you’ve got the quote online, over the phone from us or via a comparison website, then it’s not an official quote.

We don’t use the services of brokers so if a broker provides you with an Admiral quote then you should walk away as it’s not a genuine quote and will result in your policy being cancelled. You can read more about ghost broking scams in our guide. 

Basically, if you aren’t the one to have final say on whether your details are accurate then there’s the potential your policy documents could be littered with errors and result in a cancelled policy.

5. Other drivers using your car

Only you and your named drivers should be using your car. Though another driver could use your car if they have the ‘driving other cars’ extension on their policy, this provides third party only cover.

If someone who has the driving other cars extension drives your car and has an accident, we won’t be able to pay out for any damage to your car.

Only drivers named on certificate are fully covered to drive your car.

6. Not looking after your car

You need to make sure your car is kept in a roadworthy condition at all times and make sure all maintenance work is carried out as soon as is needed.

Looking after your car also means driving sensibly – hand-brake turns and accelerating like Lewis Hamilton is not sensible driving and this sort of driving behaviour could see your policy cancelled.

7. Glossing over accidents

No matter how big or small you have to let us know about any incidents your car is involved in. A small bump you don’t tell us about could cause a number of problems, including:

  • The third party reporting the incident to their insurer leaving us in a difficult position if they choose to make a claim
  • If you’re involved in another incident in the future and there’s already previous damage to your car you’ve not told us about it could invalidate the larger claim

8. Underestimating your mileage

If you drive to work every day and your office is 10 miles from home, that’s 20 miles-a-day, 100 miles-a-week just in commuter mileage. So, if you fill out your insurance application and say you do 1,000 miles-a-year, take a moment to really think about how far you’re travelling.

Falsely declaring a lower mileage than you think you’ll do could result in an increase to your premium, affect your ability to claim or even invalidate your insurance.

9. Not having the right class of use on your policy

Lots of people make the mistake of thinking that social use covers them for pretty much everything, including driving to work – unfortunately it doesn’t.

If you drive to work in your car, or even if you drive to the train station each day, you will need commuting use on your policy. If your drive to different sites during the working day or use your car in relation to your work you would need business use, and couriers using their car need to choose Carriage of goods for hire and reward.

If you’re in doubt, check with us when you get a quote to make sure you can get the cover you need. 

10. What car modifications void your insurance?

When you arrange your car insurance cover you need to tell us about any modifications and optional extras on your car as not all types can be covered.

If you plan on modifying your car in any way, from adding racing stripes to having an engine remap, then you will need to let us know as this could affect the way we cover your vehicle. Ecu remapping, for example, will affect the car’s power and may cause your price to increase.

Similarly, you need to let us know about any optional extras your car may have. Any Mini or BMW owners out there are probably well aware of the incredible number of optional extras available when you buy a new car.

11. Driving in unusual locations

If you decide to take your car for a spin on the Nürburgring, for example, your cover with Admiral would no longer be in place.

Similarly, Admiral will not cover you to take part in any organised motorsports or rallying events. The General Exceptions section of the policy booklets lays out exactly what would not be covered by your policy.

Obviously, this isn’t a definitive list and you may find there are more than 11 things which could invalidate your insurance which is why reading your policy documents is so important!

If you need to arrange your car insurance, get a quote with Admiral today.

Now you've read up on a number of things that might void your car insurance, take a look at our guide to what can invalidate your home insurance.

The easy way to manage your policy on the go