Here's why your car insurance claim might be denied

Sheen Panel Service on 26 March 2019

Can your car insurance provider deny a claim?

There are certain situations where a car insurance provider can deny a claim, particularly if the driver has been negligent on the road. Driving under the influence, damaged vehicles, unqualified drivers - all of these things can void a policy.

Have you been involved in an incident and need to make a claim? Let Sheen Panel Service take the wheel. While we fix your car, we can also settle disputes on your behalf. If you're unsure about making a claim, call us first.

1. Driving under the influence

Drugs or alcohol in your system at the scene of an incident will immediately result in a car insurance provider denying a claim. Refusing to take a drug test will also void any claim related to the incident.

  • This applies to L and P plate drivers, who need a BAC limit of 0.0% to drive

  • Common prescription drugs like Valium, Oxycontin, and Xanax can also void claims

If you've been getting a bit loose, stay away from your car. Not only are you much more likely to cause damage, injury and death, but you will be financially and criminally liable for the consequences.

2. Restricted or unlicensed

When you take out a policy, you will be given an option of whether or not you would like to include an age restriction on your vehicle.

  • Selecting a minimum age (usually 25 years old) for your car insurance can save on premiums

  • If a younger driver has a collision, your insurance will be void

If you are teaching someone to drive, or need one of your children to drive you around in the future, it might be worth not having a minimum age on your policy.

Driving without a valid license will absolutely deny any car insurance claim you make following an incident. If your license has expired, renew it before you get behind the wheel.

3. Unroadworthy or unregistered

two men checking their cars after accident

Insurance policies are designed to protect against the financial fallout of road incidents. Gradual damage that occurs over time does not fall under this umbrella.

  • Broken lights, tyres, brakes, windows, windscreens, mirrors and doors must be replaced

  • Repair any scratches and dents as soon as you can

  • General wear and tear like rust, mildew, rot and mould can also affect an insurance claim

  • Tyres damaged by braking, cuts and bulging might void your claim

  • If you modify a vehicle and don't advise your insurer, there's a chance your claim will be rejected

The same applies for unregistered vehicles. If your car falls behind on its registration, you need to get this up to date. Although your insurance will still be active, a claim will be denied if it isn't registered.

4. Recklessness or racing

If you've got a bit of a lead-foot, you should consider dropping down a few gears. Reckless driving and racing will likely see your car insurance denying a claim.

  • Track racing, rallies, time trials and endurance racing will not be covered by your insurance

  • Illegal street racing will void your claim, as well as put you at risk of criminal charges

  • Even if you're excessively speeding and cause an accident, chances are your claim will be denied

In the end, it's best to use common sense. If you're a motor racing enthusiast, buy insurance that covers your hobby and only race where it's legal to do so. If you're just a regular driver, play it safe for yourself and everyone around you.

5. Overloading

Sometimes it can be tempting to squeeze one more into the back seat. This will not only put you in danger of causing an accident but will also make you liable for the damages that follow.

  • Cars must not carry more passengers than they are designed to carry

  • If a car is carrying a load, it must be secured and below the legal limit for the type of car

  • If the load is contained within the vehicle, all windows and mirrors must remain unobstructed

Overloading a car is illegal. Car insurance will deny a claim for those who break the law.

6. Overdue payments

woman with overdue bills wondering can car insurance deny a claim

Falling into arrears is a sure way to have your car insurance claim denied. Missing a bill and forgetting to pay can be a very costly mistake.

  • It's best to set up direct debit to ensure that your insurance is paid on time each month

  • If you're falling on hard times, your insurer has ways of offering financial assistance

Make sure you budget for your insurance and other running costs every month.

7. Other incidents

There are several other incidents that may see your car insurance claim denied, including:

  • 'Hiring' out your car to another party, like lending to a friend or working for a ride-share service

  • Damage that occurs outside of the country

  • Intentional loss and damage caused by yourself or another party acting on your behalf

  • Accidental use of the wrong fuel or lubricant

  • Unauthorised repairs by an unregistered party

  • Driver leaving the scene of an incident

  • Using the vehicles for unlawful purposes, for example, drug trafficking

If you've been in an incident, but are worried about your car insurance denying a claim, contact Sheen Panel Service. We take the stress out of car insurance claims. As well as fixing your car, we can liaise with your insurer, helping you get back on the road sooner.