While most drivers are aware that they must inform their insurers of changes like moving house and getting a new car, fewer people know that they need to declare changes to their working situation — whether they change career or job title, become employed after being a student, or stop working due to retirement, unemployment or any other reason.
In fact, in a recent uSwitch survey, 60% of drivers said they did not inform their insurer the last time their occupation changed despite this being a requirement of their policy.
Avoid invalidating your cover
It’s vital to declare these changes to your insurer to avoid invalidating your cover, something that 41% of our survey respondents were unaware of.
By failing to inform your insurance company of changes to your circumstances, you may invalidate your cover, meaning your insurer could refuse to pay out in the event of a claim.
Rod Jones, insurance expert at uSwitch.com, says: “Millions of drivers are changing careers and job roles, blissfully unaware of the potential impact on their car insurance policy. A change in job title may seem insignificant but it could change your premium – and if you fail to inform your insurer about it, you risk invalidating your policy altogether.”
How your job affects your premiums
Insurers need to keep up to date on your working situation because it’s one of the many factors that affect the cost of your premiums, along with your age, type of car, driving experience, and address.
The effect of your occupation on your car insurance is partly based on claims data (how many people with that job title have made claims in the past), as well as perceived risk — bar staff are more likely to be driving late at night, for example, when accidents are more common.
Job titles with particularly high premiums include musicians, children’s entertainers, bodyguards, and market traders. Students and those who are not in employment also tend to face higher premiums than those in full-time work.
If you inform your insurer of a change of occupation part way through your policy, the cost of your premium could go up or down because of the different risks associated with different jobs.
Call to cut admin fees
But even before the potential change in premium, drivers face charge from their insurers for declaring their change in occupation.
Insurers charge an average of £22 for amending details on your policy, while some companies charge more than £50 to make the change.
In our survey, 94% said it’s unfair that insurers charge excessive admin fees to make small changes such as amending occupation details. In response, uSwitch is calling on car insurance companies to be transparent on their additional charges, as well as putting an end to excessive admin fees.
Rod Jones, insurance expert at uSwitch.com, said: “While it’s critical that policies are kept up to date to ensure they are valid, it’s grossly unfair that consumers are being saddled with huge admin fees. We’re calling on insurance providers to be transparent about their charges and put an end to the excessive admin fees for amending policy documents. Some providers have already decided to waive these fees, but we’d like to see other providers follow suit.”