A simples guide

Is my no claims still valid after a break in my insurance cover?

A no claims discount is a funny thing. It can inspire protectiveness to the extent where drivers may pay to safeguard it. But what happens to your no claims if you stop being the main policyholder or want to switch from company car insurance? The rules aren’t always clear so here are the facts.

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What is a no claims discount?

For insurance providers that offer no claims discount, how it works is that for every full year you drive without making a claim on your insurance, you earn one year’s no claims discount (NCD or sometimes known as a no claims bonus). Each year’s worth of NCD gives you a discount on your car insurance premium. You can only claim full years so if you’ve switched policies within 12 months, you won’t earn any discount for that year.

In most cases it’s only the policyholder or main driver that accumulates a no claims discount, although some insurance providers may extend that to a named driver – you’ll need to check with your provider.

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How much could a decent no claims discount build up to?

You should start to see reductions after a year or two, but around the five year mark is when you’ll probably start seeing the biggest discounts. Reductions will vary between providers so it’s worth checking what each provider offers.

There’s no standard maximum number of years that you can accrue in no claims, some insurance providers will cap it at five years, others nine and we will even let you input 25+ year within our comparison service. But if you do have an accident and you’re at fault, then your established no claims discount could come tumbling down. In many cases your number of years no claims will be reduced (sometimes called ‘stepping back’) rather than being wiped out in one go.

Even if you claim for an accident where you’re not to blame, your no claims discount could be affected unless you’re able to reclaim all costs from the person who was at fault; in which case it might not. Minor repairs like windscreen chips and scratches, will probably not affect your NCD, but make sure to check your policy just in case.

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If there’s a gap in my insurance, is my no claims discount still valid?

That will depend on how big that gap is and your insurance provider. Most insurance providers will say a no claims discount is invalid if you have a break in your car insurance of two years or more, some providers may go to three years so make sure to check and find out.

If you’ve been driving a company car and your employer has been paying your insurance, letting your insurance provider know you’ve had no previous claims could save you some money when it comes to sorting out your private car insurance. If this is the case, then the insurance provider will usually want to see some written evidence to confirm this. You’ll typically need to have been the sole driver of the vehicle and been insured for social, domestic and pleasure use (as opposed to using a company pool car).

If you’ve been living abroad, you could also transfer any NCD earned – although this is at the discretion of your insurance provider. As with company cars, you’ll need to provide written evidence (in English) of your insurance history, confirmation of your name, car and when your policy ended.

How do I get the right deal on my car insurance?

Well to start with you’re in the perfect place, with over one hundred car insurance providers to compare, you’ll be spoilt for choice. Just use our car insurance comparison service and complete a few questions about yourself and your car and we’ll do the searching for you, so you can find the right policy for the right price for you.

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