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The reasons why your car insurance could be invalid

Manchester Evening News logo Manchester Evening News 18/10/2018 Stephen Hurrell
a view of a car: Check your lights © A. Bailey/ Wiki Commons Check your lights

Hundreds of thousands of drivers could be driving with invalid insurance, risking fines and a criminal record.

The Association of British Insurers (ABI) says a few simple mistakes on an insurance application could mean drivers are driving illegally.

It says there are three main ways drivers are trying to dishonestly trick the insurance system to secure lower premiums and has dealt with over 212,000 dishonest insurance applications since 2014 at a rate of 4,000 per week.

Offences that people may have committed include 'Fronting', which means putting somebody else as the main driver of the car. Fronting is illegal and often happens when younger drivers put their parents as the named driver on the policy.

Drivers who put a different postcode to the one they are based are also committing an offence, while those who leave out previous claims or unclaimed convictions could also find themselves without valid insurance.

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Mark Allen, the ABI’s Fraud and Financial Crime Manager, said: “Insurers recognise that innocent mistakes and oversights happen. But anyone lying to get cheaper motor insurance, or tempted by cheap insurance offers without first checking that they are genuine, risks driving illegally. The consequences include getting a criminal record and a massive financial headache if found to be at fault for a crash. The risks are just not worth it – especially when you can shop around for the right policy at the lowest price."

However, there are legal ways to lower your insurance.

© Credits: PA

PA

Switch your insurance

Searching for a better quote up to three weeks before you are due to renew can save you an average of £280, according to Comparethemarket.

Meanwhile accepting the auto renew figure can cost as much as £113 a year. Shopping around on insurance switching websites can be the key to getting a better deal.

Use Compare the Market or Confused.com , or a similar service, to check your insurance options.

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Choose your occupation carefully

You should always be as honest as possible when describing your job title but be aware some will carry higher premiums.

For example 'chef' will return a premium that is £98 higher than 'kitchen staff', according to Gocompare .

Other higher-paying jobs include music teachers, who will pay £86 more than teachers, while copywriters will offer a different quote than writer.

However, any job title must accurately describe your role. Putting down teacher when you are actually a doctor is fraud and could lead to prosecution.

Adding a driver

Fronting - the practise of younger drivers putting parents as the main driver of their car - is illegal in the UK.

Drivers can add a secondary driver to the policy and it can actually save money.

The secondary driver has to give permission and as long as they have a clean license and a good no-claims history it could push down the price of a premium.

How young people are 'fronting' to save money on their car insurance

Pay in one lump sum

Not everybody can pay for their insurance premium in one go but those that can could save up to £62, according to MoneySupermarket .

The savings are because the up front payment removes the need to pay interest on the premium.

Cut your excess

The level of your insurance premium excess can impact on the final quote. A higher insurance excess - the amount you're willing to pay towards the damage - means less risk for the insurer and lower premiums.

Other things that can reduce the price are removing other types of cover including breakdown cover, windscreen cover, cover when driving abroad and the courtesy car option.

Think carefully before removing these however, as they could cost you in the long run.

It is worth checking if some of the options are covered by your home insurance, travel insurance and AA or RAC membership.

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