A recent article with advice from a leading insurer reminds everyone to make sure that servicing, maintenance and MOT checks on your vehicle(s) are much more than just an obligation.
Unless all this is not dutifully performed, an insurer can cancel a policy or refuse a payout. That is not to mention fines of £1,000 to £2,500 for driving a vehicle without an up-to-date MOT.
Obviously, the service history of the vehicle needs to be maintained. This upholds the vehicle warranty and is critically important when it comes to considering the resale value.
Beyond that, a properly insured owner would do well to keep a second logbook of their own which records the regular MOTs and any additional repairs or modifications that take place. This plays an important role in the event of any accident, as the terms and conditions of all policies include a provision that the vehicle must be roadworthy and in good condition. Should an insurer determine that such maintenance was not performed, they can refuse to pay out after an accident or cancel the policy itself.
Studies show that postponing maintenance is the most common mistake that people make when submitting a claim (about 21%) along with many people thinking that an MOT alone would be sufficient. In fact, some 16% of drivers admit to not having a current MOT anyway! This has become more serious since 2018, when stricter MOT rules were introduced, resulting in as many as one third of vehicles failing the test.
A good system is to run this second logbook to remind you not to get into a situation where you might have to pay thousands out of pocket and lose whatever cover you had arranged.
Surprisingly small details, such as scratches, dents and cracked glass, can all count against any claim you make at a later stage. Keep records of what happens and all remedial work done as a result. If you have this in a log, it makes it much easier to trace in your files, which you will have to do if you have a major accident.
At the same time, keep your insurer updated on all these matters. To facilitate efficient handling of a claim, it is important to have all this documented and notified to the insurer in writing.
This is very much the point where you need to involve your insurance consultant, who can offer expert advice on what is involved in the policy you hold and how best to keep it in good order regarding the paperwork. Without proof of a record of careful maintenance, you could find yourself in a situation where your premiums are increased, even if you do not have a claim refused or a policy cancelled.