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Can someone claim on my car insurance without me knowing?

If someone claims on your car insurance after an accident, your insurance provider will typically contact you – but that’s not always the case. Get the facts about the circumstances (genuine and fraudulent) when someone may claim on your car insurance without you knowing.

If someone claims on your car insurance after an accident, your insurance provider will typically contact you – but that’s not always the case. Get the facts about the circumstances (genuine and fraudulent) when someone may claim on your car insurance without you knowing.

Written by
Julie Daniels
Motor insurance comparison expert
Reviewed by
Rebecca Goodman
Insurance expert
Last Updated
17 MARCH 2023
8 min read
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How can someone claim on my car insurance without me knowing?

Typically, to make a claim on your car insurance, the other driver (or third party) will need to know personal details including your name, address, car registration number and insurance details. In almost all situations, you’ll know if a claim is made on your car insurance by another driver. You’ll have exchanged details with them at the scene and your insurance provider will contact you about any subsequent claims.

However, there are a few scenarios when someone else could claim on your car insurance without your knowledge…

You’ve had a minor accident

Say you have a prang with another car and exchange details with the other driver, but you both agree at the time that no claim is needed (which you report to your insurance provider). Later, the other driver changes their mind and decides they do want to claim. So, they contact your insurance provider who settles the claim and decides you don’t need to be notified.

Your car is in a hit-and-run accident

Another possible explanation is if you (or someone using your car) left the scene of an accident without giving your details. If someone involved made a note of your registration number, they could submit a data access request to the Motor Insurance Database to get your insurance details and make a claim to your insurance provider. They could even ask the police to get involved and track you down.

Your insurance provider should notify you if a claim is made about an incident they’re not aware of and it won’t be good news. As well as invalidating your policy, you could be charged with a driving offence by the police and get points on your licence or even prison time.

Your details have been cloned

Car cloning is a type of identity fraud that involves a criminal copying your number plate and attaching it to another car of the same make and model so any offences they commit get directed back to you.

In this case, your provider will notify you of a claim on your insurance, but you’ll know nothing about the incident because you won’t have had anything to do with it. If this happens, you need to contact the police.

How will I know if a car insurance claim is made against me?

Generally, you’ll know to expect a claim against you if you’re involved in a car accident where you were at fault. In this case, you should have exchanged insurance details at the scene and informed your insurance provider about the accident. Your insurance provider will then almost certainly inform you of any claims that result from the accident.

Even if the other driver tries to make a claim on your insurance when you weren’t at fault, you’ll still almost certainly know about it. Your insurance provider will almost always contact you for further information about the accident, and they’ll want to investigate fully before making a decision on a payout.

What happens if someone claims on my insurance?

If both you and the other driver agree that the accident was your fault, then your insurance provider will simply handle the claim and pay out. You shouldn’t have to do anything once you’ve reported the accident.

When there’s a dispute about who was at fault, it gets a bit more complicated. Your insurance provider will probably contact you for a statement and then look at other evidence to help decide who was at fault.

How do third-party claims affect my car insurance?

If the accident was your fault and the other driver decides to claim on your insurance to cover the repairs, this is known as a third-party claim. A third-party claim will more than likely affect the cost of your car insurance premium the following year. That’s likely to be the case even if your insurance provider chooses to settle the claim without telling you. This could be true, for example, in the case of smaller claims, when your provider may calculate it’s not worth their time to dispute the claim.

Your no-claims discount (NCD) could also be affected, even if both parties in an accident are to blame. If it’s decided that you weren’t at fault, your premium is likely to spike the year following an accident. That’s because insurance providers will consider you statistically more at risk of having another accident.

Although it could be tempting to keep quiet about an accident, especially if you think the other driver is unlikely to make a claim, it’s important to be honest with your insurance provider about any accidents you’re involved in – big or small. If they find out further down the line that you failed to report it, it could invalidate your policy.

Do I pay excess if someone claims against me?

No. The good news is that you won’t have to pay any excess – the amount you have to pay towards a claim – if a third party claims against you. You’re only liable to pay an excess if you claim for repairs to your own vehicle.

Can someone make a false car insurance claim against me?

They can, but your insurance provider is unlikely to simply pay out, no questions asked. If another driver tries to make a false claim against your car insurance for an accident when you’ve reported that you weren’t at fault, your insurance provider will almost certainly contact you for further information.

If your insurance provider gets in touch about a claim for an accident you have no recollection of, you could be a victim of car insurance fraud.

What do I do if a fraudulent car insurance claim is made against me?

If a fraudulent claim has been made against you, you need to let your insurance provider know what’s going on and gather any evidence that proves you weren’t involved. That could be, for example, receipts, video, photos or witness statements that prove you weren’t at the scene.

It’s on the third-party claimant to prove that you were at fault, so ask your insurance provider for details of the claim made and the evidence they’ve provided:

  • Where do they claim the accident took place? Ask for the address and the exact date and time.
  • Have they provided any photo evidence of the damage?
  • Can they describe who was driving your car?
  • Were there any witnesses?
  • How did they get your insurance details?

You can use the details they provide to help dispute the claim. For example, if they claim to have photos proving the damage to your vehicle, you could easily dispute that by offering to send your vehicle for inspection. Make sure you keep a record of who you speak to at your insurance provider and follow up in writing to confirm the key points discussed.

Reporting car insurance fraud in the UK

If you’re a victim of a car cloning scam, as well as notifying your insurance provider, you’ll need to report it to the police so they can try to find and prosecute the culprit. You’ll also need to tell the DVLA that your car has been cloned and provide them with the crime reference number given to you by police. In most cases, you’ll need to get a new licence plate number.

What should I do after an accident?

If the accident has injured someone or damaged a vehicle, property or certain animals, you’re required by law to exchange details with the other driver(s) or third-parties involved. If you don’t do this at the time, you need to report the accident to the police within 24 hours, otherwise you could be charged with a ‘hit and run’ offence.

You’ll need to swap details with the other people involved, and note down the following:

  • The registration number of the other vehicle(s) involved and, ideally, the make, model and colour.
  • The name, address and phone number of the other driver(s) and any witnesses.
  • The insurance details of the other driver(s). If the other driver can’t or won’t provide insurance details, you must notify the police at the scene – it’s against the law to drive without car insurance in the UK.
  • The time and date of the accident.
  • The registered owner of the vehicle involved if it’s not the same person driving.

For more information, read our guide on what to do after a car accident.

How to notify your insurance provider

You’ll need to tell your insurance provider about any incidents – major or minor, fault or no fault, details exchanged or not – within a set amount of time. If you don’t, you risk invalidating your car insurance policy. The timeframe you’re allowed should be detailed in your policy documents. Your provider should also explain how you can get in touch. There may be a helpline you can call, or you might be able to submit an incident report online or in writing.

If you don’t intend to make a claim, make it clear that you’re reporting the accident for information purposes only. If you do plan on making a claim, speak to your insurance provider as soon as possible. They can talk you through the next steps and explain what information and evidence you’ll need to provide to support your claim. They can also advise you on what to do if the other driver left the scene without exchanging their details, or how to make a claim against an uninsured driver.

Stay protected with the right car insurance

When something goes wrong, it’s important to have the right car insurance in place. Start a car insurance quote with us and we’ll find you some great deals from a wide range of providers. Compare car insurance today and see if you can save.

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Julie Daniels - motor insurance comparison expert

Julie is passionate about delivering a great customer experience and rewarding people for saving on their insurance through our loyalty and rewards programme. She’s spoken to the media, including outlets like Sky News and Capital FM, about car and home insurance, as well as our rewards scheme.

Learn more about Julie

Rebecca Goodman - Insurance expert

Rebecca Goodman is a freelance financial journalist who specialises in insurance, personal finance and consumer affairs. Rebecca regularly writes for national newspapers including The Independent and The Mail on Sunday on a wide-range of financial topics. She covers everything from money-saving tips and holiday advice to investigations into how energy efficient appliances can cut the cost of household bills and the impact donating money can have on those in need. Along with features in national papers, Rebecca also writes news stories for websites including Yourmoney.com and The Money Edit.

Learn more about Rebecca

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