How to manage your insurance policy

Wed Sep 01 2021

Now that you have a car insurance policy it means you are protected financially when you are out on the road, but you still need to make sure you keep on top of this policy. Most insurance policies will last 12 months, so you need to be aware when your renewal date comes up, and you should make sure that your insurers are aware of any relevant changes to your circumstances. Failure to do either of these things could mean you are either left with no insurance, or invalid insurance.

Make sure your policy documents are correct

When you first take out your insurance policy you should be looking through your policy documents to make sure everything is correct, maybe you forgot to disclose some information, such as a driving conviction, or it could be that your address is listed incorrectly. If you do spot any mistakes on your policy documents you should be contacting your insurers straight away to correct these, or you could be driving around without valid insurance. 

As well as making sure your policy documents are valid, you should also check if you have everything you asked for, for example, is your insurance comprehensive? Do you have breakdown cover? When you first receive your documents is when you should be doing all these checks.

Declaring any changes

The management of your policy doesn't stop after you have received your documents and done all the relevant checks. If there are any changes to your circumstances within the policy year then you do need to inform your insurer. Some changes may increase or decrease the price of your insurance depending on if they make the risk greater or lower. There may be some changes to your circumstances that you didn’t realise are relevant, so below we have made a handy list so that you are aware. Any changes to the below would require you to inform your insurer. 

Change of job

Some insurers consider some job roles a greater risk than others. For example, your job may require you to use your car more frequently. You may need to use your car for your job in your new role, in which case business use may need to be added to your policy. 

Change of address

Your new home could be in an area that is statistically deemed safer, or even a greater risk than your previous address. Also the parking situation in your new home may be different, maybe your new home has a garage you can keep your car in. 

Modifications to your car

Changes to your vehicle will of course alter the risk of your policy and your insurer will need to be aware of any modifications you do make. 

Swapping your vehicle

This one should go without saying but if you do sell your car and buy another one you need to contact your insurer and to swap the vehicle over as this completely changes the risk. On most occasions you will not need a brand new policy, your insurer may be able to make a straight swap on your insurance. 

Most insurers will include a fee for making any adjustments to your policy so you should make note of this fee at the start of your policy so that there are no surprises if you do make a change. Failure to make your insurer aware of any of the above changes could mean your insurance is invalid. 

Renewal

It is advisable that you know exactly when your renewal date is so that your policy does not cancel on you after a year and catch you by surprise. Some insurers may also have an auto renewal,so it's another good reason to be aware of your renewal date if you want to avoid this happening. 

If you choose to renew with your current insurer, again you will need to make your insurer aware of any changes to your circumstances, which could include any penalty points you may have picked up. Your insurer should run through all the relevant questions again on renewal, as essentially it is a brand new policy and it should be treated that way. 

Other things to be aware of

As well as all of the above a few other things you should make sure you are aware of are;

  • Customer service number
  • Claims number
  • Breakdown number (If you purchased breakdown cover)
  • Dates of your direct debit payments (If you are paying monthly)