Motor insurance at risk due to false information
Many thousands of drivers are continuing to put their motor insurance cover at risk and driving illegally by knowingly giving false information or failing to disclose important facts, such as motoring convictions.
They may think that cutting corners will save money, but the reality is that they face not only a criminal conviction, but a lifetime of higher premiums and difficulties in accessing other financial products, such as credit.
Insurers have a responsibility to ask all the relevant questions of the consumer when they take out, change or renew a policy. The consumer has a responsibility to answer these questions honestly and to ensure that their answers are accurate. If any circumstances change once the policy has been opened, the consumer has a responsibility to inform the insurer immediately, or at least as soon as possible.
According to 2014 research by the Association of British Insurers (ABI), one of the most common temptations to get cheaper car insurance is for a parent to insure a vehicle in their name as the main driver, with their son or daughter down as an occasional driver, when in fact they are the main user.
This type of fraud is known as ‘fronting’. Research commissioned by Gocompare.com in 2015 revealed that up to 41% of parents of young drivers surveyed said they would not rule out doing this, despite the fact that it is fraud and could invalidate their insurance and lead to a criminal conviction.
Other information commonly falsified
Research by ABI highlights the lengths some would go to get cheaper motor insurance by trying to deceive insurers. Common lies include:
- ‘forgetting’ to disclose previous claims or unspent convictions when asked
- Giving a false address or post code for a lower risk area
Government shares driver data with insurers
Measures introduced by the government in 2014 have now made it easier for insurance companies to identify those withholding information on their policies.
The MyLicence database is part of a wider government project to digitise drivers’ details. As part of this process, they agreed to start sharing details of their database with insurance companies. Details disclosed include whether drivers have been caught speeding, their age and postcode and whether they have previously falsified information to insurers.
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