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60% of drivers risk invalidating car insurance after job change

Drivers unaware they must inform their insurers of a change in occupation

new job marked on calendar

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.”

  • krissie

    If they do charge for small changes then let them know in no uncertain terms that you consider it grossly unfair and you will not renew with next time. Customer service should come free with a smile.

  • Peter

    The all insurance ‘industry’ is a big MAFIA aimed to rip us off.
    job title, minor modifications which does not affect safety, how car is used, who drives – provided he has got license to drive it should not matter.
    they should be entitled to have address, make/model/value of the car, owner data, no claims discount and that’s it. mileage should not be included as nobody can precisely predict it.

    Charging 50quid for making a simple change in the policy is A CRIME – THIS IS LIKE A FORCED TRIBUTE TO ORGANISED CRIME!

  • ronnie03

    Since most insurers do not seem to include those details in the policy quotes or documents nowadays, how on earth is anyone expected to know whether they are relevant or not ?

  • Tony Couch

    Just like airlines. You get offered a great deal – apparently – but the sting in the tail is hovering. I wonder if there are targets for the “add ons” that can be charged? The Government are also adding to the pain with increases in tax on insurance policies. Is there room for a “fairness to the customer” comparison site????

  • Shakeel

    Insurance companies make a big profit doing minor amendments to the policy , if you move just a 100 yards from your home and you have full no claim bonus with no insurance claim history they can still charge you upto £200 for change of address .

  • ghessey

    I was lucky during my career I changed departments etc many times but always was a “local government officer” in their box selection, one thing many people do fail to do is get proper cover if they get mileage from or use their car for employer purposes. The charges for changes are frankly a profit makerand its time they were only able, should they do so at all, to charge the real cost

  • arno

    it does not make any sense. So premiums are based on employment statistics which according to the article is known to be wrong in 60% of cases!?!
    Also the article says accidents are more common at night. I’m sure I’ve seen data showing that most car accidents happen when the most people are on the road, that is during rush hours. But there are more fatal accidents at night.

    Who regulates the data analysis used by insurance, banks etc? You can massage the data to say anything these days.

  • colin

    why cant a system be developed to allow you to log onto insurance company sites with your insurance details and a password. then we could enter & change details our selves. e.g change of vechicle, change of address, change of job, ect

  • Gilly

    Can, t understand that sn insurance company can charge an extra £54 a year because I am unemployed. I do not use my car half as much as I used to. Seems stupid……

    • Alrock

      It comes back to the old adage…
      “The more money you have the cheaper things are”

  • Dennis Tate

    It’s just a cash cow to be charged these excessive amounts for change of detail.
    Needs regulated sooner rather than later.

  • Alrock

    Should scrap compulsory car insurance, basic 3rd party should be included on the road tax at a flat rate based on the vehicle. If you want extra insurance on top of this then you can get it from an insurance provider.

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