10 things that can break an insurance contract
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10 things that can break an insurance contract

Car insurance is a legal requirement for every driver because it keeps everyone on the road safe. But oftentimes, people consider insurance merely a formality. Something you buy annually, without giving much thought, or even price comparison! As a policyholder, reading and understanding the fine print before buying insurance is important — Otherwise, this could land you in hot water! As a matter of fact, you’d be surprised at just how many everyday habits and small mistakes can break your car insurance contract.

You should always keep in mind that your insurance is a binding contract; therefore, it’s critical to understand what obligations are you agreeing to fulfill with your insurance provider. Learn more about 10 seemingly harmless situations that could result in your car insurance not paying out when you need it to!

How can you accidentally break your car insurance contract?

Packing your car for a move

At first glance, using your personal car to move your things to a new home seems like a great idea. Certainly, this is a surefire way to save you a lot of money and plenty of hassle — However, no matter how tempting it is to save money on hiring a professional moving company or renting a truck, you don’t want to strain your car.

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When you overload a car, it puts tons of strain on it. This can quickly wear out the tires causing punctures. Besides, extra strain means the engine is also working harder to make the vehicle move. Not only can this damage your car, but it could also invalidate your car insurance policy. Your car insurance will be voided if you’ve loaded your car to a point where it’s heavier than the legal limit, or if the items aren’t secured properly. The same goes for anything you’re towing behind the vehicle.

Getting swept away while off-roading

Taking the road less traveled can truly make all the difference. And by that, we mean driving away from public paved roads, such as sandy roads or roads full of gravel, rocks, etc. If you choose to go off-road you need to accept that there will be some sort of damage to the body of your car. Similarly, in winter don’t get swept away —by all means— by flash floods. While they might be fascinating, a sudden tide could sweep away and submerge your car!

As a general rule, it’s unlikely your policy will cover any damages if you don’t exercise enough care.

Fronting and misleading your insurance

In comparison to older experienced drivers, young drivers pay a lot more for their car insurance due to a higher accident rate and higher claims ratio. Because of this disparity, car insurance fronting happens. Put simply, fronting happens when older drivers falsely claim their responsibility to cover accidents younger drivers cause.

At first, “fronting” might sound like a harmless idea, but once you look closely at it, it’s only a form of car insurance fraud. In other words, older drivers are only trying to mislead and deceive Najm and insurance companies by providing false information about the accident. If this happens, you could invalidate your insurance. Not to mention that many cases end up in courts; because fronting is a legal offense in Saudi.

Giving your car a makeover

Did you know that changing the look and performance of your car could have a big impact on your insurance? Car insurance companies pay close attention to modifications and in general, are not overly keen on most of them; This is because car modifications can directly increase:

  • the risk of car theft because your car will attract more eyes now.
  • the likelihood of the car being in an incident that will ensure a claim; especially after replacing the car engine with a more powerful one.
  • The cost of repairs and the availability of spare parts.

No matter how big or small these modifications are, don’t leave out this kind of information from your insurer. Be sure to declare modifications to your insurer — even after taking out your insurance policy! If you don’t mention your modification, you’ll be unable to file a claim and may even invalidate your insurance altogether.

Pretending to be Michael Schumacher

Even if see yourself as something of a Formula 1 champion in the making, don’t expect your insurance to cover you while breaking the law. Since racing is illegal and prohibited in Saudi; all insurance policies won’t cover you for any incidents which occur because of racing or drifting.

There’s no room for street racing, road stunts, and reckless driving on Saudi streets. So, before you rev your engine, remember that you are risking your license, car, and even the right to file a claim!

Putting off filing a claim

Everyone puts things off sometimes, but procrastinators who unnecessarily and voluntarily delay reporting accidents or filing claims will face negative consequences. In particular, delayed filings result in rejected claims.

Basically, you must report the accident immediately to Najm. Then, in a matter of 2 days, you should start the filing process with the insurance company. Additionally, you are required to complete and deliver all the required documents within the specified timeframe in your insurance contract.

In short, if you want your insurer to quickly process a pay-out, you are required to make your claim promptly.

Idling your car

Believe it or not, leaving your car with the engine running while you run back home or into the store, could land you a hefty fine in Saudi!

As a car owner, it’s your main responsibility to take care of your car all the time. When you leave cars running and unattended, you leave them vulnerable to being stolen or driven by children. Since all comprehensive insurance policies contain an exclusion clause voiding theft and accidental damage cover caused by negligence or human error; drivers aren’t only breaking the law, but they’re also risking invalidating their own insurance.

Charging for lifts & deliveries

You don’t have to look too far for opportunities to earn extra cash; becoming a ridesharing or delivery driver is a great way to make money with your car! Currently, Saudi Arabia’s delivery industry is estimated to be worth $970 million. Undoubtedly, the upward trend for delivery service is likely to continue, which means there will be a need for delivery drivers. But before you sign up to make deliveries, make sure to update your insurer. Your insurer needs to know about any changes in your circumstances so that they can update your policy to reflect the change in your needs

For insurance companies, your side hustle means you will be using your car for a purpose that it’s not covered for. Essentially, selecting personal use when buying insurance means using the car for commuting to work, visiting family and friends, etc. Another thing is that a side hustle might mean a longer commute, which means more time spent on the road; hence, an increase in the number of risks you’re exposed to every day

If you choose to keep this a secret, you run the risk of your car not being covered. Besides, this could also invalidate car insurance.

Driving abroad

Traveling by land is certainly easier and cheaper than air travel. Plus, you’ll avoid all the confusion around how to hire a car abroad. But, before you hit the road, ensure you have the right car insurance and know exactly what you’re covered against.

Originally, insurance policies cover damages and losses that occur within the geographical borders of Saudi Arabia. Meaning to say, that your insurance only works inside Saudi.

However, comprehensive insurance can expand the scope of geographical coverage to also include neighboring countries such as the Kingdom of Bahrain. If you are planning to drive your car abroad, let your insurer know beforehand and buy the right cover.

The key to stress-free insurance claims

All in all, remember that the insurance policy you buy is a legally binding contract of indemnity between you and the insurance company. As such, it comes with all the clauses and regulations that you need to adhere to for its validity.

Ultimately, the best way to avoid invalidating your car insurance is to read the fine print on your policy carefully. Examine all of the terms and conditions— including any exclusions, and ask questions if the contract is unclear before you buy insurance.