PDA

View Full Version : How can car insurance companies tell how many miles you drive a year?



Ross PK81
2008-Oct-19, 01:13 PM
I'm in the UK and whenever I get a quote it asks how many miles you do a year, obviously the more miles you do the more expensive the insurance.

So what's to stop me from lying and saying I do a really low milage each year, how could they find out I'm lying?

Neverfly
2008-Oct-19, 02:20 PM
I'm in the UK and whenever I get a quote it asks how many miles you do a year, obviously the more miles you do the more expensive the insurance.

So what's to stop me from lying and saying I do a really low milage each year, how could they find out I'm lying?

It would be very awkward to explain how you put 100,000 miles on your car in the past week, if you end up having to file a claim.

In other words, the off chance that your claim will be denied is enough to keep the honest people honest.

mugaliens
2008-Oct-19, 04:43 PM
That and the fact that every time a vehicle is registered or is involved in any accident, it's odometer is included in an international VIN database to which all insurance companies have access.

I've even heard of some dealers entering the milage every time the vehicle is seen for service. They do it for their purposes, not for the insurance industry, but this allows the insurance companies access to that information, as well.

It's best to be honest. They may allow your claim, but if you've been dishonest, they can also jack your rates.

Metricyard
2008-Oct-19, 05:17 PM
In Massachusetts, and most likely other states in the US, we have to have a yearly inspection(emissions and/or mechanical safety). The odometer is always recorded and entered into a database that insurance companies have access to.

novaderrik
2008-Oct-19, 08:11 PM
in MN, the only way anyone would ever know how many miles are on your car would be if you took it in to get serviced. we have no inspections, and after a car reaches a certain age, they don't even ask the mileage when you transfer ownership of the vehicle.
it's almost like living in a free country, but not totally- the police do have license plate recognition software that is linked via cellular network to a central database in an increasing amount of their patrol cars these days- and more and more traffic cameras going up in most metro areas- so i think that maybe someday they'll be able to track where and how often a certain vehicle gets looked up by the system and kind of extrapolate how many miles that car travels in a year.
and don't forget about "services" like Onstar that track every aspect of the car in which it is installed in real time- even if you don't pay for the service...

chrissy
2008-Oct-19, 09:38 PM
When you have your MOT every year it is also written down and that goes on the DATA base. Plus like Mugs said when you are invovled in a RTA and an engineer comes to inspect the car for the damages they write the milage down too.
But your MOT has that info on every year, check out your MOT docs. ;)

novaderrik
2008-Oct-19, 11:32 PM
i'd like to know why the government even needs to know the mileage of the cars in the first place.
i'm sure someone can come up with some good reasons- like allocation of highway maintainence funds and figuring out how many miles are driven in the country every year- but those aren't actually really good reasons. they are, however, some good excuses to hold onto information about the travel habits of the populace.
all the government needs to know is how much they are making on gas taxes, and how many cars travel on a given road on a given day- and they have ways of measuring that without knowing the driving habits of every vehicle on the road.

tdvance
2008-Oct-20, 12:52 AM
As far as I know, the main reason for associating VIN numbers with mileage is to reduce fraud when selling used cars. People can pay a small fee to get a CarFax report on a car from its VIN (I don't know what keeps fake VINs from being easy to do)--the report is a summary of the car's history--accidents, etc., and I presume mileage at each time.

For highway maintenance, traffic counters are used to estimate usage.

novaderrik
2008-Oct-20, 01:00 AM
i've never needed a Carfax report to tell me if a car's been in a bad accident or had some other sort of problems- but, then again, i know what to look for. even the best repaired car will have some evidence of a collision- seams all tweaked under the car and/or overspray all over everything under the car and things like aftermarket headlight lenses and fenders installed.
as for mileage- in older cars, it's easy to get a different speedometer from the junkyard, and even the best engineered and built late model vehicles will look a LOT different after 150,000 miles than after 50,000 miles.
i know that most people aren't up to speed on these things- but if they have to rely on a computer generated report to tell them if their dream car has had a rough life, then they kind of deserve to get screwed over when they buy a lemon.

Moose
2008-Oct-20, 03:51 PM
i know that most people aren't up to speed on these things- but if they have to rely on a computer generated report to tell them if their dream car has had a rough life, then they kind of deserve to get screwed over when they buy a lemon.

Absolutely. And if one can't perform one's own appendectomy, that person deserves whatever they get when "Dr" Nick Riviera shows up with a scalpel.

You don't sneer at someone who wants a closer look at the diplomas. They're there for a reason. And so are the carfax reports.

suntrack2
2008-Oct-20, 05:38 PM
I always believe in the "real speedometer reading", neighter I have request them to decrease the cost of the comphrehensive insurance of the vehicle nor I have ever tried to show the low meter reading to them. You know the any vehicle applies with a term and that is called depreciation cost, so when the car goes more senior the depreciation work out more and hence they charge more amount on the insurance because the liablity on them increasing. :)

Sunil

tlbs101
2008-Oct-20, 06:18 PM
I'm in the UK and whenever I get a quote it asks how many miles you do a year, obviously the more miles you do the more expensive the insurance.

So what's to stop me from lying and saying I do a really low milage each year, how could they find out I'm lying?

An insurance investigator actually came to my house, walked up to my truck parked outside and read the (mechanical) odometer. I was later told this by my insurance agent. The reading was for no other reason but to verify that I was only driving 'x' amount of miles per year on that vehicle. Apparently, the insurance company thought 'x' was a little too low. But, it was true -- that truck, used strictly for utility purposes, sits, sometimes for months at-a-time, without moving.

After that, I haven't had a visit from the insurance company.

With electronic-readout odometers, this technique obviously doesn't work.
.

PraedSt
2008-Oct-20, 06:23 PM
So what's to stop me from lying and saying I do a really low milage each year...

Your conscience? :rolleyes:

novaderrik
2008-Oct-21, 08:45 AM
An insurance investigator actually came to my house, walked up to my truck parked outside and read the (mechanical) odometer. I was later told this by my insurance agent. The reading was for no other reason but to verify that I was only driving 'x' amount of miles per year on that vehicle. Apparently, the insurance company thought 'x' was a little too low. But, it was true -- that truck, used strictly for utility purposes, sits, sometimes for months at-a-time, without moving.

After that, I haven't had a visit from the insurance company.

With electronic-readout odometers, this technique obviously doesn't work.
.
walk up to your locked car and lift up on the door handle once.. the odometer should light up and show anyone nosy enough to be looking in your car how many miles are on it. i discovered this trick when looking at newer cars on dealer lots.

novaderrik
2008-Oct-21, 08:47 AM
Absolutely. And if one can't perform one's own appendectomy, that person deserves whatever they get when "Dr" Nick Riviera shows up with a scalpel.

You don't sneer at someone who wants a closer look at the diplomas. They're there for a reason. And so are the carfax reports.

you're right- getting on your knees and actually looking under a car or checking out the condition of the rubber pads on the pedals in a car or truck you might be buying is exactly the same thing as getting your appendix removed.
you don't need 8 years of college education to be able to tell if a car has ever been repaired or if the mileage reading seems suspicious. you just need some common sense and the ability to look past the shiny paint and number of cupholders.

Fazor
2008-Oct-21, 01:31 PM
We haven't used "miles driven" as a rating criteria for at least 10 years, but I know some other companies still do. One company we write with has us select "less than 10 miles each way to work / more than 10 miles each way to work", but I've tried changing them and it doesn't change the rate. My guess it's just a sneaky way to ask about where someone works, to find out if their vehicle is actually commercial use.

It's exactly like Neverfly said in his second post--the only way they'd find out you lied would be when you had a claim and they got to looking at your car. Aside from the many other clues about use/mileage; when you start a policy they're suppose to inspect your car. Reason is two-fold, with the main reason being to document any existing damage. But the other reason is to get the current ODO reading.

If you had 90,000 miles when you started the policy, and had 120,000 miles 6 months later when you have an accident, they're going to wonder about your claim of only driving 3,000 a year. Usual scenario, they'll just adjust your rate to what it should have been and charge you for the back-premium. Worst case scenario they'll attempt to charge you with insurance fraud and/or deny your claim. The later requires an awful lot of work and legal fees, the former is easy and gets them the fair premium.

suntrack2
2008-Oct-21, 04:37 PM
Fazor's information is quite correct.

do you in the comphrehensive insurance cover one can get a claim even if a small part damaged, I mean an light indicator, or say any "small dash on the back or on the front side and if the lights are broken then you can claim for it, just to give a bill of the said parts along with your application and the photo of the damage part on the car. :)

Ross PK81
2008-Oct-21, 05:53 PM
Your conscience? :rolleyes:

I was wondering how they can find out. :rolleyes:

Anyway thanks guys. I'm new to all this. Will be buying my first car soon.