You could’ve invalidated your car this morning by driving to work due to a decision you made while taking out your insurance premium.
This is if you picked the incorrect or an unsuitable ‘class of use’ for your car insurance.
Class of use refers to what situations and scenarios you can use your car for.
Some categories are all inclusive and have no restrictions but some may only be used for social and domestic trips and may not cover your morning commute.
It is essential that the correct class of use is selected because otherwise you could invalidate your premium and have claims rejected.
While the class of use categories differ slightly between insurers there are typically three main categories.
Here is a breakdown of the top categories for the class of use:
Social, Domestic and Pleasure
This type of cover refers to the vehicle being used by named drivers, for non-work-related driving only.
It will also cover things such as driving to the shops, seeing family and friends and other ordinary tasks.
Commuter policies include all the same allowances as social, domestic and pleasure, but will also cover the motorist’s drive to work.
It also includes driving to the train station and parking your car.
One grey area with commuting policies is that some insurers will allow you to drop other people off at work and some won’t so it is worth checking to avoid running into problems down the line.
For example, you may have a commuting class of use policy but get into an accent driving your partner to work, which you may not be covered for.
Drivers must pick the correct class of use or risk invalidating your premium
Business is slightly more complex than the other two classes and has multiple levels.
All policies include the above benefits and also allows all of your business-related driving away from your normal place of work.
Another version of the premium can allow business cars to be used by the driver and their spouse.
In addition to these two versions is commercial travelling, which may be needed if driving is a key factor in your work.
This includes thing such as selling goods on the road or deliveries.
Driving someone else to work could prove to be problematic because you may not have the relevant class of use and similarly you may be covered commuting to work but not to go to an external meeting across town.
Matt Oliver, from GoCompare car insurance, explained the rules to Express.co.uk: “Class of use refers to what you intend to use your car for, and it’s crucial you’re declaring the correct class when taking out a car insurance policy otherwise you could land yourself in hot water.
“Class of use tends to have a bearing on the level of risk you are deemed to an insurer, and can, therefore, affect the cost of your premium.
“Usually, for example, business users are considered a higher risk than social and domestic drivers, so you can expect the premium to be slightly higher.
“Remember to be honest about the car’s use when you apply for cover, otherwise you could risk invalidating your car insurance and having any claim you make rejected.”
There is a number of car insurance traps drivers can fall into, which could see the cost of a premium skyrocket.
Here is how you can keep costs down and avoid making costly errors.
1. Use the right job title
Your occupation is one of the major pieces of information that insurers use to work out your insurance premium.
Ultimately, some occupations are viewed as more ‘risky’ than others. That said, in some cases, there may be more than one job title on a pre-defined list, that accurately describes what you do, and in this case, you could make some significant savings.
For example, if you describe yourself as a ‘chef’ your average quote could be higher than if you selected ‘kitchen staff’. Other jobs that tend to have a lot of similar options include office work, building, and construction, teaching and journalism.
However, it’s important to always make sure you’re honest when giving your details to an insurer if you knowingly misrepresent yourself that could invalidate your cover.
It’s not just those in full-time work that this applies to, for instance, if you’re a full-time parent, retired or a full-time student make absolutely sure you’re selecting those titles and not ‘unemployed’.
Adding a more experienced driver to your premium can slash costs
2. Add a more experienced driver to your policy
Inexperienced and young drivers typically face the highest premiums– but could save significant money by adding more experienced drivers to their policy.
New drivers could save money by adding a parent on to their policy, but this also applies to other age groups, even if you’re classified as a low-risk driver yourself.
This is simply due to the second driver, in most circumstances, making the overall risk slightly lower, as you won’t be the only one driving the car.
What people must still be aware of though is the issue of ‘fronting’, where younger or less experienced drivers claim to be the ‘named’ – additional driver when they’re actually the sole or main user of the vehicle.
In this instance, using a more experienced driver to bring the cost down is illegal, so it’s worth people bearing this in mind when taking out a policy.
Drivers caught ‘fronting’ can face a huge fine.
3. Pay annually
Paying monthly can be convenient and an affordable option for many people, but in the long term it’s almost always more expensive than paying for your insurance up front in one lump sum.
The savings to be made by paying in one go can be so significant that, if you can’t afford it, it’s worth considering other options such as paying on a 0% credit card – just make sure you can pay off the balance on the card before the interest-free period ends, otherwise you could have a hefty bill stacking up.
4. Ditch the extras
As with any packaged product, it’s tempting to go all out on adding extras to feel like you’ve got a better level of cover. Consider if you really need the added extras you’re buying, that they’re suitable for your requirements and you don’t already have sufficient cover from another source.
Typical car insurance add-ons include legal assistance, courtesy car cover, personal accident cover, windscreen cover and protected no claims bonus, so find out more about these areas before buying something you may not need.
5. Shop around
The only way to make sure you’re securing the best deal you can on your car insurance, Is to shop around and compare quotes from lots of different providers.
Shopping around can also be a really easy way of saving a significant amount of money, in just a few minutes, especially when it comes to renewal.