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Have you had car insurance cancelled, refused or voided?

Having your car insurance policy voided, cancelled or refused by a provider isn’t a good experience and is something you’ll want to avoid.

But by telling the truth and making a commitment to safer driving, you should still be able to find car insurance to suit your needs.

Having your car insurance policy voided, cancelled or refused by a provider isn’t a good experience and is something you’ll want to avoid.

But by telling the truth and making a commitment to safer driving, you should still be able to find car insurance to suit your needs.

Written by
Rebecca Goodman
Insurance expert
Last Updated
29 NOVEMBER 2023
5 min read
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Why was my car insurance cancelled?

There are many reasons an insurance provider might decide to cancel, refuse or void your car insurance policy. Usually it’s for:

  • Non-payment
  • Non-disclosure
  • Fraud.

You’ll have your car insurance cancelled if your policy provider thinks you’ve broken the rules. This won’t look good to other insurance providers.

If your provider tells you they’re planning to cancel your policy, contact them as soon as possible. Don’t ignore the problem. It will be easier to get insurance in future if you don’t have a cancellation on your record.

Non-payment

If you pay for your car insurance in monthly instalments and haven’t been paying the premiums, your provider has a right to cancel your policy. However, they must give you sufficient warning and an opportunity to catch up on your payments.

If you don’t think you can make a payment, get in touch with your insurance provider as soon as possible.

Insurance providers are aware of the cost-of-living crisis and understand that many people have financial issues right now. They may be able to arrange a payment plan that works for you – and them.

Whatever you do, don’t ignore letters or emails from your provider, and don’t be tempted to stop paying your premiums. Not only will this put your car insurance in jeopardy, it could harm your credit score.

If you’ve missed a payment by accident – you’ve changed bank accounts, for example – let your insurance provider know and make the payment as soon as possible.

Non-disclosure

Non-disclosure is omitting something from your insurance application that a provider needs to know. It could be as simple as forgetting to declare a claim you made a few years ago.

Insurance providers can validate policyholders’ claims history and check records of reported incidents using the central insurance database known as CUE (the Claims and Underwriting Exchange).

If you’ve genuinely forgotten to mention something that’s later revealed, you could have your car insurance cancelled due to non-disclosure.

This can also apply to changes that take place during your policy term. For example, you’ll need to update your insurance provider if you change jobs, move house or modify your car.

It’s important to tell your insurance provider about any previous claims and incidents. You’ll usually be asked about driving convictions and claims, so answer honestly – in the long run, it pays to be upfront.

Fraud

Fraud, whether intentional or a mistake, can land you on a ‘cancelled insurance database’. This can make it harder to get car insurance with another provider. 

Instances of fraud might include:

  • Fronting: where an experienced driver falsely claims to be a car’s main driver. It’s common among young drivers trying to cut the cost of car insurance.
  • Flash-for-cash and crash-for-cash scams: when a driver flashes their lights to tell another driver they’re safe to pull out, then deliberately crashes into them.
  • Vehicle dumping: pretending your car has been stolen.

Other types of fraud may involve deception for financial gain – in other words, trying to reduce the cost of a premium. Examples include:

  • Falsely claiming that your car is kept in a garage overnight
  • Using someone else’s address to register and insure your car.

What can I do to safeguard against my insurance being cancelled?

Here are some things you can do to avoid a provider cancelling your insurance:

  • Fill out any paperwork honestly and correctly.
  • Report incidents, such as fire, theft or water damage, even if you’re not making a claim.
  • Declare any penalty points or motor-related convictions.
  • Tell your insurance provider if you change career or job title, as this information is used to calculate your insurance premium.
  • Report any changes in address or circumstances.
  • Report any new behaviours, like changes to your annual mileage.
  • Fit a dash cam to your car. These can provide useful evidence in an accident caused by fraudsters.
  • Make all payments on your policy on time.

Do insurance companies check if you had insurance cancelled?

If an insurance provider asks if you’ve had your insurance cancelled in the past, you must tell the truth, no matter how long ago the cancellation was. It’s one of the things an insurance company could check. If you’re dishonest, your policy may be invalidated when you come to claim.

If my car insurance is cancelled, will it affect my ability to find new insurance?

You’ll have to declare a cancelled policy to any new insurance provider. A cancelled policy is a red flag to insurance providers and you may struggle to find a mainstream provider to cover you. You may also end up paying a lot more for your car insurance.

If you’re finding it hard to get insurance, you may be able to get help from specialist providers offering car insurance for cancelled policies.

Does cancelled insurance affect named drivers?

If you’re a named driver on someone else’s policy that’s cancelled, it shouldn’t be your problem. After all, it wasn’t your fault the policy was voided. It only becomes an issue if the policy is in your name.

How long does a cancelled insurance policy stay on record?

A cancelled insurance policy can stay on your record indefinitely. When you apply for a new policy, even years down the line, an insurance provider might ask if you’ve ever had a policy cancelled. If that’s the case, you’ll have to answer honestly.

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Frequently asked questions

If my car insurance is cancelled can I get my policy reinstated?

It depends on the reason. For example, if you have telematics insurance and you’ve been warned for speeding, it’s unlikely your policy will be reinstated unless there’s an error with the black box.

Your insurance provider will warn you in advance if they’re planning to cancel your policy. Get in touch with them straight away. If you make up any missing payments, your provider might be willing to reinstate your policy.

I’ve had car insurance cancelled, but it’s not my fault. Is there anything I can do?

If your car insurance is cancelled but you’re not at fault, you should first complain to your insurance provider. They may agree to reinstate your policy.

But if you go through their complaints procedure and you’re not happy with their response, you can take your case to the Financial Ombudsman.

My insurance company cancelled my policy without telling me. Do I have rights?

Your insurance provider should give you notice that they’re going to cancel your policy so you have time to find a new one. If they haven’t done so, you can complain to them. If you’re not happy with their response, you can contact the Financial Ombudsman.

Rebecca Goodman - Insurance expert

Rebecca Goodman is a freelance financial journalist who specialises in insurance, personal finance and consumer affairs. Rebecca regularly writes for national newspapers including The Independent and The Mail on Sunday on a wide-range of financial topics. She covers everything from money-saving tips and holiday advice to investigations into how energy efficient appliances can cut the cost of household bills and the impact donating money can have on those in need. Along with features in national papers, Rebecca also writes news stories for websites including Yourmoney.com and The Money Edit.

Learn more about Rebecca

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