Skipping a question when filling out a car insurance application may not seem like a big deal, but what you omit or enter incorrectly can create issues down the road. Errors on the application can result in a denied claim or even a policy revocation.
Mistakes happen, but some applicants intentionally try to hide or alter information to get lower premiums. The cost of this insurance fraud is spread among all the other policyholders, typically causing their rates to go up.
Be sure to avoid these mistakes when you're applying for auto insurance:
- Not reporting all the drivers for the vehicle: Most often, the people who aren't listed on the application are teenage drivers or adults with traffic infractions on their records. If a driver who's not rated for a vehicle is involved in an accident, your premiums may go up and your policy may be canceled.
- Not listing the actual parking location for the vehicle: Vehicles housed in garages are typically safer and less prone to accidents than those parked on the street. If you do park on the street, make sure that's what goes on your application, or a drive-by fender bender may not be covered.
- Guessing about the miles driven: Report your mileage accurately. If you're in an accident and file a claim, the repair estimate reveals the mileage discrepancy. Standard checks performed during smog emission testing or vehicle servicing also reveal the true number.
- Forgetting to mention business travel: If you omitted that your vehicle is used for business, then later have an accident while performing business activities, your policy could be canceled.
- Not mentioning your driving infractions: Any check of Department of Motor Vehicles records will quickly reveal this error. Always report the tickets you've received or the accidents you've been in.
- Not updating policy information: If you neglect to update your insurance provider when your situation changes — a new job with a longer commute, adding another driver to a vehicle, a minor accident, etc. — you may end up paying more for coverage or losing important discounts.
To update your auto policy, contact your agent for assistance or log in to manage your account.