top reasons car insurance claims are rejected

Being involved in a road accident or the becoming the victim of car theft or vandalism can be really stressful, as well as expensive in the long run. The last thing you would want is for your claim to be rejected by your insurer. Unfortunately, this happens more than you might expect, with 5% of all car insurance claims being either fully or partially rejected. Below, we have outlined the most common reasons why insurance claims can be rejected. Be sure to double check that you have not fallen into any of these traps so that you have cover should you ever need to claim.

Insurers will not pay out if you have provided incorrect or inadequate information on your insurance application, including updating your details should anything change. This may include:

  • Misstating what you use your vehicle for e.g. saying that you only use it for “social, domestic and pleasure” when in fact you also use it for your daily commute to work.
  • Misstating where your vehicle is parked at night e.g. saying that you park your car in a locked garage when in fact you leave it on a public street.
  • Additional people using the car that have not been registered as named drivers. If the main driver of the car is not the same as the policyholder, this is known as ‘fronting’.
  • Grossly underestimating your annual mileage. (Reasonable margin is usually permitted).
  • Not disclosing any pre-existing medical conditions e.g. poor eyesight
  • Failure to update your address on your licence if you move homes.
  • Failure to declare any modifications to your vehicle.
  • Failure to disclose previous driving claims or convictions.


Any of the following can also be considered as reasonable grounds for rejection:

  • Any premiums going unpaid, for example, if you change banks and do not update your direct debits.
  • Your MOT certificate is out of date.
  • Your car is not roadworthy, e.g. it requires repairs or modifications to make it legally usable.
  • General negligence e.g. leaving your car unlocked, with its windows open or keys in the ignition whilst it is unattended.
  • Driving recklessly including speeding, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs or any other provable failure to take due care when driving.
  • Failure to report an accident at the time and attempting to claim for it after time has elapsed.
  • Failure to notify the police of any criminal activity involving your vehicle and not obtaining a crime reference number.

Many of these rejection reasons can be considered as simply common sense, however, it’s worth checking your policy documents if you can’t remember exactly what information you put in your application. In the event that your claim has been refused and you believe it to be an unfair rejection, you can go through the Financial Ombudsman Service appeals process that will confirm that your claim has been dealt with appropriately.


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