What If I Underestimate my Mileage when Buying Car Insurance?

Often motorists drive more or less miles than the figure they put down on automobile insurance proposal forms? Carriers know about this possibility and some may want to check and some choose not to waste resources on it but they can if they want to at any time. This post will have a look at the consequences of underestimating vehicle usage and discuss influences of brackets below.

Motorists are generally categorised based on distance travelled and they start making a real difference when you are out of the preset car insurance mileage brackets. You move into another level when the limit exceeded and may need to pay more. For example, under 3,000 would be very low and you would most likely be required proof to get cheap auto insurance for low mileage drivers under limited usage policies. Second bracket would be around 7,000 and if you claim to be doing less than this distance you would again be required proof in most cases.

Middle bracket is where most people fall in and it would start from 10,000. Most people drive around 12,000 miles a year. If you said 12,000 but did 14,000 it wouldn’t really make much of a difference because you would remain in the range. But it could if you were driving 25,000 but reporting 18,000. 25,000 puts you in heavy user category and require higher premiums, while 18,000 may still be seen as somewhere in the average range.

Lying about yearly distance travelled is considered a soft vehicle insurance fraud. It is unlikely that you would be charged with any crime and reprimanded by an auto insurer. Technically, they can ask extra premium calculated based on recently revealed correct length. However, they are not known to go that far. The obvious problem is that you know you have been lying.

Furthermore, they can always ask to see a proof. This would be recorded each time you take the vehicle for service. Also, one or two of them ask the current figure on the odometer when they are offering quotations. If you are traveling thousands of miles more than you reported you may be taking chances with getting caught and penalized for it.

Companies May Be Calculating the Length Themselves

Some of them are ahead of that game now. They have their own way of working out the yearly distance the car can cover based on details like how far is work from home and so on. In other words, they calculate premiums based on assumed annual auto usage. So, estimating yearly miles driven is becoming a key task for underwriters in the process of preparing quotes.

So, carriers may actually turn the tables on motorists and estimate the length may be covered in a year. If they get it wrong you may suffer the consequences and spend more than you should. That is why, you may have to tell them that you are commuting by train and therefore, the vehicle is always parked in front of the house all day long.

Otherwise, you may be bundled in with other people who are taking that journey between home and work and vice versa every day with their cars. It is always worth checking what usage category they put you in and confirm that with your own calculations. It wouldn’t be any surprise that they would put you in with the rest at 12,000 and charge you a regular premium. You may have to contest if you are not doing as much and ask for a discount.

Some companies may just take your word on yearly vehicle usage or be happy with occasional odometer reading. And few of them would insist on installing a telematics device on the vehicle to offer you pay as you drive policies.

Essentially, the longer you stay on the roads, sitting in rush hour traffic the higher the chance of having accidents. That is why, as the length extends the premium should follow it too.


There are so many other ways of qualifying for discounts that it would be silly to ignore them and try to cheat in order to get cheaper car insurance rates. You can cut rates by twenty percent easily just by shopping for cheap quotes attentively. So, going about it the right way always offer satisfaction of not getting outsmarted by carriers and peace of mind that what you have done now isn’t going to come back and bite you on the backside.