Common issues people have about insurance for their cars, motorbikes, trucks, caravans and trailers are: the value of the vehicle, forgetting to tell their insurer information, the driver breaching their licence, vehicle modifications, and having to pay an excess. See our information below, or for further help contact us.
Info sheets are quick guides to common issues
Why has my insurer said my car is a write-off but they are not going to pay the amount I insured it for?
Most vehicle policies provide for ‘total loss’ claims to be paid out based on the vehicle's market value. This amount is often less than the sum insured stated in the policy. Your insurer is likely to base this market value on the average of two valuations. If you disagree with this amount (and the valuations obtained by the insurer), consider contacting a registered vehicle valuer to get an independent valuation at your own cost.
Why do I have to pay a full year’s insurance when the vehicle was a write-off?
Regardless of when you suffer a loss during the period of cover, you must still pay the full premium. Usually, when you arranged the insurance you agreed to pay the full premium in return for the insurance cover, irrespective of whether you pay in monthly instalments or annually.
Do I have to tell my insurer my son/daughter usually drives the car?
Yes. Information about the age, gender and experience of the driver may affect the policy’s cover or terms. If you do not tell your insurer and you later have to make a claim, it may avoid your policy and, as a consequence, be unable to consider the claim.
If the accident was not my fault why do I have to pay an excess and lose my no claims bonus?
You are responsible for the amount of the excess each time you make a claim, regardless of fault unless your policy specifically states you are not. However, if the other party is insured and their insurance company accepts they were at fault, your excess may be refunded and your no claims bonus reinstated. If the "at fault" party is uninsured, you will have to recover the excess directly from that party or through the Disputes Tribunal.
What do I have to tell my insurer when I take out insurance?
You must tell your insurer everything that may affect its decision to insure you. This is referred to as the duty of disclosure. If in doubt, you should tell the company everything. If you do not tell your insurer all the information it requires, it can treat your policy as though it never existed and refuse your claim – this is called avoidance. See the info sheet: Non disclosure - what you need to tell your insurer.
Why has my insurer only raised this issue about lack of information now, when I have made a claim?
When you make a claim, your insurer will ask you more questions or check up on your history. This can lead to your insurer finding out information which it should have been given when you applied for insurance.
Can my insurer decline my claim if I gave them information which wasn't true?
Yes, if the policy allows your insurer to do so. An insurance policy will usually state that you must not give it incorrect or false information when making a claim. If the information you give to your insurer is incorrect or false, it may mean your insurer can decline your claim or even cancel your policy. It can also affect any future insurance application you make. If you don't know the correct answer, let your insurer know that you will get back to them with the right information.
My insurer has told me that, because I included extra items which were not on my vehicle in my claim, it can decline my whole claim. Is this true?
Yes, if the policy says so. If you provide false information it can mean your whole claim is declined and/or your policy is cancelled.
Search the case studies of complaints to the IFSO Scheme.