Insurance is all about risk, and the less of a risk you are considered to be, the lower the cost of your car insurance will be, and the more likely you are to be accepted by a provider.
Car insurance is a legal essential for all drivers here in the UK. At a minimum, all road users must have at least third-party car cover in place before getting behind the wheel. Even those learning to drive on a provisional licence must have insurance.
It’s not always easy to get accepted for car insurance. Some providers are unwilling to accept applications from individuals they feel are a risk due to poor credit rating or a problem with policies in the past. They may opt to offer such drivers insurance at a higher premium or reject their application entirely.
If a previous policy of yours has been cancelled or you’ve been convicted of a driving offence, you might be asking yourself whether you can get driving insurance at all. While there are certain circumstances where you may be refused car insurance, you’ll usually find alternative options available, although you may have to pay more than others for your cover.
If you’re wondering ‘will I be accepted for car insurance?’, you’ll find a wealth of questions answered in the sections below. From how a suspension from driving or a poor credit rating can impact your application, to the rights of insurance providers to refuse your request for a policy, everything you need to know is right here.
Can I get car insurance if my policy was cancelled?
For a variety of reasons, your car insurance provider may choose to cancel your policy. You may have fallen behind on your payments, failed to disclose information important to your policy, or even committed fraud – either by mistake or purposely.
If you choose to spread the cost of your insurance over a year, you’ll need to keep up your monthly instalments to receive your insurance as your part of the agreement. If you fall behind with payments, you’ll typically receive warning letters, but if you don’t get back on track your insurer might cancel your policy. Non-disclosure of information pertaining to your insurance could also bring your policy to an end. If you aren’t truthful with your provider about previous claims on motor insurance and they find out, they’ll have good grounds to cancel. Finally, fraudulent behaviour, such as a parent taking out a policy on behalf of their child to secure a lower premium, could cause your insurer to cancel your cover.
All three of these reasons can negatively affect your chances of being accepted for car cover in the future. In order to secure insurance for your car after your policy has been cancelled, you must be completely honest with any potential new providers and admit to the cancellation and why it happened.
Although this will make it more difficult to acquire car insurance and will raise the premiums you’ll pay, it’s a far better approach as the law states that it’s your responsibility as a customer to be careful and honest with all information they provide.
Can I get car insurance after an accident?
While no driver can take car insurance out following an accident and make a claim on it, if you’ve been involved in an accident in the past, you’ll still be able to acquire car insurance. Insurance policies are based on risk assessment, however, and if you were part of an incident on the roads, there’s little doubt that your monthly premiums will be higher than those with no accidents on their driving safety record.
How can I get car insurance with a suspended licence?
Your licence can be suspended if you receive 12 or more penalty points within three years, or you’ve been convicted of a driving-related offence. You’ll get a notification by post that includes a summons to go to court. How long your suspension lasts will be dependent on how serious the court decides your offence is. Until your suspension has been fully served, you can’t acquire an insurance policy.
Where can I get car insurance without a licence?
It’s illegal to drive a car in the UK without a valid driver’s licence and most car insurance providers will make this a basic requisite for being accepted for a policy.
If you are learning to drive and have only a provisional licence, you must still be insured to drive. If you learn through a driving school or registered instructor, this will be arranged for you, whereas if you’re learning with a family member, they can add a “learning to drive” addition to their own policy for a fee.
Can a car insurance company refuse to insure you?
It’s entirely up to a car insurance company who they opt to offer insurance to. There may sometimes be a valid reason why an insurance provider may decide to refuse your application, or even attempt to charge you higher premiums than other drivers seeking a policy.
Car insurance companies set the terms and conditions that decide who they’ll offer insurance to and who they won’t cover. You may encounter problems obtaining car insurance based on various reasons from your driving history, failing to pay premiums on a previous policy, or even due to your age. Rather than a flat-out refusal, you may be asked for additional information for the insurance provider to assess how good a risk you are, while others may choose to not insure you without asking questions.
Insurers can discriminate against you in certain circumstances. If you are a younger driver seeking car insurance, they may charge you more based on your inexperience, or if you have a poor credit history of non-payment on insurance policies in the past, they could select not to offer you one in the present.
Why am I being refused car insurance?
Three main reasons for being refused car insurance include a previously cancelled policy, a previous bankruptcy, or a criminal conviction.
If your previous car insurance company cancelled your policy, it can affect other insurance providers’ decisions on whether to offer you cover. In some cases, they may refuse. The three main reasons an insurer would cancel your policy are nonpayment, nondisclosure, and fraud.
If you’ve got a bad credit history or a previous bankruptcy on your credit file, potential insurers may fear that you won’t keep up payments and are too great a risk. When this happens, your application for car insurance may be rejected.
While you can still find car insurance if you’ve got a history of criminal driving convictions, and even non-driving related convictions, it may be cause for an insurer to refuse your application. If you’ve been caught driving while over the legal alcohol limit, or clocked and stopped by the authorities for speeding, this can affect your attempts to secure car insurance. Other offences that may have an impact may include driving without a valid driver’s licence, dangerous driving, or driving without car insurance in place.
Can I get car insurance with bad credit?
If you’ve got a poor credit history, you might face difficulties securing car insurance. Many drivers spread the cost of their essential car insurance in monthly payments, so effectively your insurer pays your vehicle insurance of the year and then you pay it back in instalments each month. If you’ve got a bad credit history, insurers may be concerned that you won’t keep up your payments and refuse you the option of spreading the cost.
However, they will often offer you the opportunity to pay for your insurance in a lump sum or put down a significant deposit to decrease the size of your monthly payments and reduce the risk of your non-payment. They may also still offer you insurance but at a higher premium to cover the potential risk of your non-payment.
Can I get car insurance with an international licence?
If you’re an international motorist you’ll still be required to follow the UK laws, and this includes driving with at least third-party insurance. While you can acquire car insurance with an international driver’s licence, you may pay slightly more if they view you and your vehicle as a risk.
Can I get car insurance with an expired licence?
Driving on UK roads without an up-to-date driver’s licence can get you a fine of £1,000 and up to six penalty points. Your vehicle can also be seized by the authorities.
Under section 88 of the Road Traffic Act, you can drive your car if your licence is being renewed by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), as long as your doctor states you are fit to drive and you’re not facing a disqualification from driving.
Some car insurance companies will reject your application without a valid driver’s licence. Renewing a licence takes around three weeks to complete, so it may be wise to wait until you have all your documents in order before making an application.