It seems millions of Brits are lying to insurance companies in order to save money on car insurance ─ and in doing so, potentially invalidating their policies.
A report by Consumer Intelligence found as many as 2.4 million car insurance policies could be void because of false information given by the policy holder. 15 per cent of respondents lied about where they park their vehicle, while 14 per cent were dishonest about the number of points and/or previous convictions they have. 9 per cent changed their home address and ten per cent gave a lower annual mileage estimate.
One in 12 drivers admitted to deliberately misleading car insurers, with 60 per cent of respondents saying they did so for a cheaper premium and 5 per cent to “reclaim money paid previously for expensive premiums”.
Not all misinformation was given on purpose. The study revealed 1 in 10 drivers gave the wrong information because of limitations with the insurer’s system. A common example of this is job title.
“Many consumers are struggling financially and it is understandable that they would want to try and cut their bills wherever they can,” explained Consumer Intelligence CEO Ian Hughes. “However, if they do not provide the right information to insurers they are putting themselves at risk. If they make a claim they may find that the policy won’t pay out because the information they provided doesn’t add up.”
“One of the key principles of insurance is ‘utmost good faith’. That isn’t just for insurers; it is really important that consumers play their part in this,” he added.
Should an insurer realise you gave false information, you may not get a payout in the event of a claim and a car insurer could also cancel your policy, which would make it much more difficult – if not impossible – to take out a policy with the same company again.
This is not the first instance of hard-up motorists cutting corners to save money. An estimated one million cars are driving around in a crash-damaged, dangerous state, while 1 in 200 drivers are caught driving completely uninsured.
Give the average fully comprehensive car insurance policy price has fallen by 9.8 per cent to £594.86 (the biggest average drop since 1994), according to the AA’s insurance index, providing misinformation is probably going to cost more in the long run than being honest in the first instance.