Car insurance warning: Why the daily commute could invalidate your policy – how to check

Martin Lewis warns viewers about drastic car insurance changes

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Car insurance policies are typically renewed every six months to one year, with drivers having to provide an array of important details in order to obtain the best coverage for them. One of these details is the class of use for their car. According to experts from insurance company Admiral, it is this often easily missed detail which could pose a risk for drivers.

Offices and workplaces across the nation have gradually been reopening their doors since lockdown measures eased in the summer.

But, according to Admiral, many car owners who ceased commuting during lockdown may face invalidating their insurance simply by driving to work.

The insurer saw the highest number of customers moving their class of use to ‘Social, Domestic and Pleasure’ in March 2021 when 6,552 made this change to their policies, as many drivers continued to work from home.

That month also saw the highest number of drivers making any change to their class of use, with 15,879 motorists doing so.

Making this change may have reduced the cost of their insurance, since they would not be driving during peak commenting hours, or as frequently.

However, those who have since resumed commuting but haven’t got around to changing their class of use risk invalidating their coverage entirely.

Clare Egan, head of Motor Insurance at Admiral said: “We know that many motorists changed their car insurance cover during the pandemic to suit their needs at the time – whether that was adding cover to allow them to make deliveries, or removing cover for commuting or driving for business as they were working from home.

“While we all know it’s illegal to drive without car insurance it’s also illegal to have the wrong type of cover, so it’s vital that drivers make sure they have the right class of use in place.”

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What is the ‘class of use’ in car insurance?

Class of use in car insurance dictates what you intend to use your car for.

This can make a difference to the cost of your insurance premium, with various reasons for driving your car often hiking the figure upwards.

The reason you use your car may not seem important, but different uses can clock up your miles and increase the risk of an accident.

Furthermore, accidents are far more common at certain times of day, such as during rush hour.

When applying for a car insurance policy, your provider will ask what you intend to use your car for. This is the class of use declaration.

Which level of car insurance coverage do I need to commute to work?

There are a few different coverage levels for people who drive their vehicles for work.

Social, domestic, pleasure and commenting (SDPC) covers everyday social driving, such as visiting friends or doing the school run, as well as your daily commute.

This also includes driving your car to a train station or connection bus terminal, and parking your car, before using public transport to reach your workplace.

However, just one workplace location is included in this type of coverage.

People who drive to multiple workplaces, or take part in business-related driving, should select SDPC+business use.

Class one business includes journeying between more than one place for work, such as for meetings.

Class two business includes an additional named driver, plus all of the coverage of class one business.

Class three business covers unlimited miles and unlimited destinations

People who use their cars as taxis or delivery drivers should opt for commercial business use insurance.

How can I tell if my policy is invalid?

The best way to ensure you are driving with the right level of coverage is to check your car insurance policy paperwork or contact your insurer.

Ms Egan said: “As we return to a form of normality, we urge drivers to check their policy to make sure it fits their current situation.

“It’s not just people returning to the commute who need to be aware of this, many drivers have changed jobs or have acquired a second job so we’re asking them to ensure they’re correctly covered.”

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