Can You Be Refused Car Insurance?

  • Problems with getting a quote?
  • Turned down by an insurer?
  • Not sure how to proceed?

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Can car insurers refuse to give me a quote?

With one exception car insurance companies can decline to offer a quotation to anyone they wish. The only exception is that they cannot refuse to offer a policy because of a disability, provided that the DVLA has been advised of that disability, but has still allowed that driver to keep a driving licence.

Even in this case, the insurer is allowed to increase the premium, provided that they can show that the disability increases the possibility of a claim.

If you compare quotes on a price comparison service it is usual for the majority of insurers on the panel to decline from offering you a quote, which they are perfectly entitled to do if they wish. They may not wish to insure your particular car, someone of your age, or because of any other general factor so usually it is not you, as an individual, that they are refusing to quote for.

If I have been refused a quote, how can I insure my car?

Why not ask a whole panel of insurers, who specialise in finding competitive car insurance quotes for those who have been turned down elsewhere?

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Would I have to inform a future insurer if I was declined a quotation?

It is generally accepted that if you asked an insurer for a quote and they refused to do so this would not be a blot on your record at all. If, however, you filled in a proposal form, the insurance company gave you a quote but then refused to insure you, then that would be a different matter alltogether. In the first case you would have been turned down because of the insurer's general business strategy, in the second they would have rejected you, individually.

Why would the fact I had been refused insurance be anyone's business but mine?

Insurance companies do not turn away business without a reason. However they may still not wish to quote, for example, for certain types of car, motorists in certain age ranges, modified cars, or people with poor accident records etc, and this is perfectly normal.

However, once they have all the facts about an applicant, via an insurance proposal form, and have offered a quotation, they would have to have a valid reason for then refusing to issue a policy. Future potential insurers will probably want to know what this reason was.

Why should an insurer refuse to cover me?

Checks are made on nearly all insurance applications. Insurers often share details about their clients and there are public records that they can use as well. If information on the proposal form doesn't match with the details they discover then this can mean that either a premium can be increased or cover refused completely.

How can I avoid being refused insurance?

One important way is to be completely honest when you fill in a proposal form. You may as well, since if you have something to hide they will probably find it out anyway. If the company declines to offer you a quotation then you have lost nothing.

If, however, they do offer you a quote and then discover that information on that form was incorrect, either deliberately or accidentally, then they could refuse to insure you and that would be a very serious matter because you would have to inform any other insurers you approached within a certain period that you had already been turned down.

Can an insurer refuse to renew my car insurance policy if I have done nothing wrong?

Once an insurance policy comes to an end there is no obligation on the insurer to offer a quotation or the motorist to renew it. It is unusual for an insurer to decline from offering a renewal quote but they may have decided to switch their focus to a different sector of the insurance market, or they may indeed have decided to stop selling policies at all. Their reason may have nothing at all to do with any faults on your part.

This however could put you in a rather awkward position. Do you inform future insurers that you have been refused a renewal?

To stay on the safe side you may be best to tell any future insurer about this situation before buying a policy. If you were not to blame for the situation then there may be no repercussions in the form of a vastly inflated premium or an outright refusal to cover you.

On the other hand, failing to tell an insurer of the situation, even though you were completely innocent of any infractions, could still cause disagreements over precise wording of the terms of your policy - and who wants to go through that? As always with an insurance policy you should be completely upfront. It usually pays off in the end.

Can an insurer cancel my car policy?

Yes but only under exceptional circumstances. An insurance policy is a contract between an insurer and a motorist and it cannot be broken without a valid reason. Non-payment, failure to disclose relevant information to an insurer or fraud would probably be considered to be a good reason for voiding a policy.

It is common for Telematic (Black Box) insurance policies to be issued under certain conditions; such as the driver keeping to certain curfews, driving considerately and not exceeding speed limits. If these conditions are not met the insurer usually has the right, under the contract, to increase premiums or even withdraw cover.

Can I complain to the Insurance Ombudsman if my insurance policy is cancelled?

If you believe that your policy has been cancelled unfairly then by all means you should complain and your case would be considered fairly. There have indeed been instances in which Telematic systems have wrongly reported that a motorist has broken the terms of a contract - these systems are not perfect. If however an insurer can show that they have acted within the terms of the policy it is unlikely that you would get very far.

What should I do if I am refused insurance?

There are still insurers that are happy to provide policies for the majority of motorists who have been refused elsewhere. However it is absolutely vital that they are given full details about why a policy was refused in the first place, as well as any other relevant information.

Most people who were refused insurance can benefit by talking to a friendly, helpful and sympathetic specialist broker who can contact insurers on their behalf to give their side of the story. A real human being instead of a computer can then make the necessary decisions, and a new policy may cost you a lot less than they think. If you have had a problem getting insured give a few details on the application form and a specialist (who will of course be fully authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority) will be in touch to help you.

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