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When you buy car insurance, the price of your policy is based on a series of personal details and the level of cover you choose. Where you live, your age, your job, vehicle type and your driving activity all influence the cost of your insurance. But if you’re not sure what information your insurer needs, it can be easy to forget to mention something when you apply.

Holding back information and forgetting to update details can invalidate your car insurance policy. So if you come to make a claim, your insurer might refuse to pay up. Avoid being left without the correct insurance and keep a look out for these scenarios.

Penalty points

Though it’s an offence to hold back details when you apply for car insurance, one report shows that a fifth of motorists don’t inform their insurer of any penalty points they get. Under the Road Traffic Act 1998, you’re obliged to tell your current or prospective insurer about penalty points you have or receive on your licence. If you don’t, it could result in prosecution and you could get six to eight penalty points – and that’s on top of the ones you’ve already got.

Driving for work on a restricted policy

If your job requires you to drive for work, you’ll usually need a full and clean driver’s licence. But if you don’t tell your employer about any penalty points you get, you’re technically driving without cover. The Road Safety GB research found that only one in 10 drivers would inform their employers if they received points.

This could be costly if you’re involved in an accident and the insurer won’t pay out. And if you take out a policy that’s for ‘social, domestic, and pleasure’ but start using the car for work purposes regularly, it too would nullify your cover.

A medical illness condition

If you have a medical condition, be sure to notify the DVLA and your insurers. Conditions like diabetes, visual impairment, epilepsy or heart conditions can affect your driving – that’s why you need to declare them. If you have a condition and don’t declare it to the DVLA, they could fine you up to £1,000 and your insurance will be void too.

So if you become unwell after you take out cover and your GP signs you off driving for three months, let your insurer and the DVLA know. Once you get back to full fitness and meet the Government standards, you can drive again and have the right cover. If you’re unsure if your medical condition affects your driving, contact the DVLA to ask.

Driving your car abroad

Anyone driving abroad needs to ensure they’re covered to do so. If you have an accident abroad without cover, you might struggle more than usual due to language barriers and not knowing the driving laws in the country you’re in.

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