When you buy a car insurance policy, you'll (usually) have to fill in a bunch of information about yourself.
And if you've deliberately kept things secret, you could be committing fraud.
Here's 14 things you'll need to tell your car insurer about. And why.
If you change your name by deed poll, or get married and take your spouse's surname, you'll need to update your car insurance details.
You'll also need to update your details with the DVLA. And that's because the information on your driving licence always needs to match the details on your car insurance policy.
Your insurer might want proof that you've changed your name. To prove your new name, you can send them your:
Your address is one of the big things that can affect the price of your car insurance. If it changes, you'll need to tell your insurer.
When you do, your price might change. And that's because you're most likely to crash near your home. Your insurer will also look at crime statistics, and whether your car's parked on the street or in a garage.
You'll also need to update the DVLA when you change address (or you could get a £1,000 fine). Just like your name, the address on your driving license needs to be the same as the address on your car insurance policy.
And make sure you're using your own address. If you use someone else's address to get a cheaper premium, that's fraud. 🚫
Things can get a little more complex if you spread your time across different addresses. If that's the case, your best bet is to chat to your insurer.
It's also worth updating your vehicle logbook - or V5C, to give it the proper name. (This is the thing that proves who the registered keeper is.)
Having different addresses on your car insurance and V5 can cause problems if you have to make a claim.
(There's no particular order you have to change your address in. Just tell the DVLA and your insurer as soon as you can.)
You could shop around for a new policy, but you will usually have to pay a cancellation fee to get out of your existing contract (usually around £50, but it depends how much time is left on your policy).
So, if you're the owner of a brand-new (or maybe third-hand) car - congratulations! - make sure you let your insurer know before you pick up your new set of wheels.
Before you buy a new car, it's worth getting an estimate on it to make sure it won't make the price of your insurance go up.
Things that tend to make a car more expensive to insure are its:
You'll also have to let your insurer know if you modify your car.
That can make your insurance more expensive (if your insurer will cover it at all).
The definition of "modification" can be quite broad. Even changing the colour of your car can count as a modification.
Even if you don't change your surname, you still need to let your insurer know you've got married. Although it's probably the last thing on your mind while you're planning your big day.
That's because insurers use your marital status and title to figure out your price. And that's because married people are less likely to make claims.
Your job title also affects your insurance price. As with everything else in insurance, it's all based on the data insurers have about how often people with your job title make claims.
So, if your job changes, you'll need to tell them. Same thing goes if you become unemployed, retire, or quit work to study full time.
There are a few different ways to check how a new job title is likely to affect the price of your insurance. MoneySavingExpert has a pretty great calculator.
Insurers class car insurance policies as 'social', 'commuting' or 'business' use.
Make sure you understand what each of these means when you take out your policy. Social use doesn't cover driving to work, even if it's just to the train station and back.
Likewise, if you start a lift club to make a bit of extra cash, be warned: your insurer might decide you're a taxi hire service, which would mean your policy isn't valid.
If your mileage is a lot more than you estimated it to be when you took out your policy, you'll be less likely to get a payout if you claim.
If you change the way you use your car, tell your insurance provider as soon as you can.
Got yourself a new set of tyres or lowered your car suspension? Well, look at you.
Remember to tell your insurer about any modifications you make to your car. These include changes to your engine, suspension, brakes, body, exhaust, paint work or wheels. If your car changes, your policy needs to change too, right?
Be careful with this one. A lot of insurers don't cover modified vehicles (we're one of them…). So modifying your car could make your insurance invalid. So double check your policy before you make any modifications.
Cars rarely stay pristine for long. A trolley could roll into your car or you might bang your door into a pesky lamppost. And while you might be happy to live with a few scrapes, your car insurer still needs to know about them. Even if you don't claim.
It's important for your insurance provider to know what shape your car is in at all times because if you do have a bigger accident (touch wood) they need to be able to tell what's old damage and what's new.
If you decide to pay for any fixes yourself, you still need to let them know.
Look, we're sure this won't happen. But if it does, this is something you really have to tell your insurer about.
Having a driving conviction, like speeding, or points on your licence, makes you a risky driver. And the riskier you are, the higher your price.
But things get even worse if you don't tell your insurer. That's a crime in itself, and you could get more points on your licence because of it.
Best to stick to the rules of the road.
Where you park your car can change your premium. And that's because cars are more likely to get damaged or stolen if they're left out on the road.
If you can, it's usually best to keep your car in a garage. Otherwise, "off-street parking" (like a driveway) tends to be safest.
When you tell your insurer that you're keeping your car somewhere new, the price of your policy might change.
You'll also need to keep your insurer in the loop if you start keeping your car at a different address more often.
This happens a lot when relationships start getting serious, and you're spending as much time parked outside your partner's address than your own.
We're very jealous. But before you hit the road, make sure you tell your insurer. A stretch of time on the road in a foreign country makes you more likely to have an accident and adds wear and tear on your vehicle.
Your insurer might want you to take out temporary cover to make sure your car is fully insured while you're out of the UK.
It's also worth checking exactly what you're covered for in other countries. If you're UK-based, you may need to get a Green Card to drive in the EU (and some other countries too).🌍
In some cases, you may need to get an International Driving Permit (IDP) as well. Find out more in our guide on how Brexit affects car insurance.
If you do want comprehensive cover in another country, you should let your insurer know. You'll probably have to pay a bit more for it.
With most car insurance policies, you can let other people drive your car by adding them as a named driver. But if they start using it more than you, that could be a problem.
The person who does the bulk of the driving needs to be listed as the "main driver". If the main driver isn't the person who does most of the driving, that counts as a kind of insurance fraud called "fronting".
If the person using your car is younger than 25, that might change your price too. Younger drivers tend to have more incidents on the road and your insurer will want to update your policy to reflect this. If you're not sure, best to read your policy document or get in touch with your insurer to double check.
The details for your named drivers all have to be kept up to date, too. If they get a new job, or move to a different address, or anything else we've listed - let your insurer know.
Sadly, there are certain health conditions - bad eyesight, for example - that make you more likely to have an accident.
So if you develop a physical or medical condition that makes you less able to drive, you'll have to tell the DVLA. And if they put any restrictions on your licence because of it, you'll have to tell your insurer.
GOV.UK has a pretty handy tool to help you check if you need to tell the DVLA about your health condition.
If you change gender, you need to update the DVLA to get a new driving licence. You'll need to update your car insurance policy too.
That's because your car insurance policy needs to match the number on your driving licence. And your driving licence number is made up of different bits of information about you. Like your date of birth, name and gender.
It's worth noting that this shouldn't affect the price of your policy. It's been illegal to charge men and women different prices for a while now.
Generally, you don't need to do this mid-policy, because it doesn't affect your price. But if your policy's up for renewal, it's worth mentioning it.
If you pay monthly for your car insurance, you need to keep your direct debit up to date and tell your insurer if your bank details change.
This is true even if you want to cancel your policy. Cancelling your direct debit won't cancel your pay-monthly policy. But it might mean your insurer cancels your policy for non-payment, and that can make it harder to get cover in future.
Most insurers will charge you a small amount to change your details. These charges are called "admin fees".
Admin fees can apply for all sorts of changes to your policy, like a new address, name, or job title. You'll also usually have to pay an admin fee to get extra copies of your insurance documents.
Admin fees are usually between £15 and £30, but it varies pretty widely between different insurance companies. (Cuvva doesn't charge them except for new policies)
When you update your car insurance details, your price might change. That's because car insurance prices are worked out based on lots of different information about you.
If that information changes, your new details might make you "riskier" to insure.
And if you tell your insurer long after your details change - say, six months after moving to a new address - you might have to pay a big lump sum to cover all the months you were "riskier".
Before you make any big changes - like buying a new car or getting modifications - it's worth checking with your insurer that they'll still cover you once you've made the change.
Sometimes it's cheaper to cancel your policy altogether and find a new one.
So if you do move to a new address, or get married, and find that the price of your policy goes up massively after you tell your insurer, it's worth seeing if you can get a better price elsewhere.
You'll usually have to pay a fee for this, depending on how long is left on your policy. But once you've done the maths, you might find it's worth it.
Our final bit of advice? Always read your policy document (yes, even the fine print). It's boring stuff, but it's important.
If you're in the first two weeks of your policy, you'll be in your cooling-off period. If your details change much while you're in the cooling-off period, you probably won't need to pay to make changes.
Updated on 7th May 2021