There are a number of things that can void a car insurance policy in Alberta, including:
- Lying on your insurance application
- Failing to notify your insurer of a significant change
- Failure to provide a vehicle inspection or salvage report
- Lying or misrepresentation with regards to a claim
- Being abusive to staff
- Serious driving violations
- Illegal activity
- Using your personal vehicle for commercial purposes
- Not paying your insurance premiums
While some of these are pretty obvious, others may be surprising. We will explain each of these reasons why an insurance company may choose to void a car insurance policy in Alberta.
Remember, this is a general guide. Every insurance company is different. Read your policy documents and talk to your broker for details specific to your situation or if you have any questions.
Lying on Your Insurance Application
Unfortunately, there are some people who lie on their insurance application, often as an attempt to get a lower insurance premium. Lying on an insurance application can include:
- Failing to complete the application
- Failing to produce requested documents
- Lying or misrepresenting on the application
If you are found to have lied on your insurance application, your policy can be voided by your insurer. You may also owe money to the insurance company if you received any payments from them.
Failure to Notify of a Significant Change
Your broker and insurance company should be notified of significant changes that could affect your insurance. This ensures the validity of your policy and can sometimes save you money. Significant changes to a car insurance policy include:
- Changes to the use of the vehicle, including commute distance
- If you’ve moved
- Number of drivers operating your vehicle and their status
- Modifications to the vehicle
- A change in the principal driver
- If the vehicle is garaged outside of Alberta
- If the vehicle is being driven outside of Alberta for more than six months consecutively
Minor changes you should let your broker and insurer know about include changes to your contact information and your occupation.
Failure to Produce a Vehicle or Salvage Inspection
Most insurance companies will ask you to provide a vehicle inspection once your vehicle reaches a certain age. If this is not provided or you do not complete the requested repairs your insurance policy can be voided. This also applies to vehicles that were listed as total losses and are now considered salvage – while you can certainly repair the vehicle you also must provide a salvage motor vehicle inspection certificate. Failure to do so can also see your policy voided.
Lying With Regards to a Claim
If you lie, are misleading, or fail to provide information with regards to a claim you are at risk of your claim being denied and/or your car insurance policy being voided.
Abusive to Insurance Staff
Some insurance companies will void your policy if you become verbally or physically abusive to any of their employees or contractors.
If you have a criminal code conviction or serious traffic safety conviction your policy can be voided. This is not always the case and will depend on your insurer, policy, and the violation.
Any illegal activity involving your vehicle will void your policy. This includes automobile insurance fraud.
Using Your Car for Business or Commercial Purposes
As long as you inform your insurance company, commuting is normally covered under a personal vehicle insurance policy. However, doing anything more work-related may not be covered. This includes:
- Transporting employees
- Transporting passengers or goods for money
- Transported work-related equipment
- Installing work-related equipment on your vehicle
- Visiting clients or work sites
- Renting or leasing your vehicle to others
If you’re found to be using your vehicle for commercial purposes, you may find that your insurer can void your personal car insurance policy.
You probably wouldn’t think much of using your vehicle to drop off something work-related or maybe you even use your vehicle for your day-to-day business. If that’s the case you should talk to your broker about a commercial vehicle insurance policy.
Finally, the most obvious thing that can result in your policy being cancelled is non-payment. Generally, one missed payment may not result in cancellation – you’ll receive reminder notices and you may have to pay an additional fee. But this isn’t usually an issue if you pay what you owe immediately. However, you miss multiple payments you may be cancelled for non-payment.
Every insurance company is different when it comes to tolerance and policies for non-payment. While a non-payment may not void your policy it certainly can cause your policy to cancel and create problems for you when you try to get insurance again.
While this isn’t an exhaustive list it’s a good start to being aware of what can void or cancel your car insurance policy in Alberta. Remember to contact your broker about any major changes and always be honest with them.