Can I Get Car Insurance If I Don’t Have A No Claims Bonus?
Caeva O'Callaghan | September 15th, 2021
You’ve had a small accident, and lost your no claims bonus – but will you be able to get insured without one?
Yes – but it may be expensive. Not having – or having lost – your no claims bonus won’t prohibit you from buying car insurance, but as it is a discount you will be paying more without it.
Building a good no claims discount takes a bit of time, but it’s well worth it in the long run.
In this article, we’ll cover the following questions:
- What is a no claims bonus?
- Are there different types of no claims bonus?
- How does a no claims bonus affect my car insurance premium?
If you make a claim, you may not lose your no claims bonus altogether, but rather have it “stepped back” by your insurance provider. Read on to learn more.
What is a no claims bonus?
A no claims bonus – “NCB”, or no claims discount – is an earned percentage discount off your car insurance premium.
It starts after one year’s driving experience, so learner drivers can start earning their no claims bonus right from the start. You can earn a no claims bonus in your own name or as a named driver on somebody else’s policy.
Your no claims bonus maxes out at five years, after which your discount will remain in place unless you lose it, but it won’t increase.
You lose your no claims bonus when you make a claim on your insurance. So, if you have a large no claims bonus saved up and get into a small collision, it may be worth paying for the damage out of pocket rather than getting insurance involved.
It is important to remember that it only matters whether or not you make a claim at all – it doesn’t matter whether it was your fault or not.
Say for instance an uninsured driver hits your car and you need to claim for it. In most cases, you would not be able to earn your no claims bonus for that year. Furthermore, the existing bonus on your policy may step back by two years or even to zero.
Are there different types of no claims bonus?
Yes. Most insurance companies offer an introductory bonus for having proven, claims free driving experience. This means you can effectively transfer your no claims history from previous insurers, or from driving experience as a learner driver.
This is why, when you first get your license, it’s a good idea to get named on a parent or relative’s policy. This will help you build up experience (and your no claims bonus!) before buying your own policy. Insurers love safe drivers, and compensate them in many cases.
This is also a great idea for people coming off fleet policies. Fleet policies are a type of vehicle insurance which covers company or business vehicles, such as a fleet of vans. If you have changed your job or no longer drive a company vehicle, you will no longer be under your company’s fleet insurance. However, if you have evidence of claims-free driving from the insurance company on which you were named, we can often get you the equivalent no claims bonus.
How does a no claims bonus affect my car insurance premium?
When you make a claim – no matter if it was your fault or not – you sacrifice your no claims bonus. That’s just a fact of having car insurance.
Unfortunately, you can lose your no claims bonus even if your car was stolen. If you need to make a claim, your bonus could be lost. The car insurer may be able to recover all costs from another insurer where a claim is not your fault. In this case, you wouldn’t lose your no claims discount.
Also, if you do not have insurance in your own name for 2 years, your no claims bonus lapses, even if you have taken out protection.
Protecting your no claims bonus is an option with some car insurers. Essentially, you pay a little extra each month to keep your no claims discount intact, no matter what happens.
Confused about no claims discounts? Not sure where you stand with your driving history? Give us a call today, and our experts can get help explain the different options. Call us Mon-Fri between 8.30am and 5.30pm on 0818 224433 or 042 9359051.