Moving your No Claims Discount

When it comes to renewing your car insurance, we’d always suggest you comparethemarket (naturally). It’s quick and easy and by seeing what’s out there and switching provider, you could also save yourself some cash – it’s a win-win. But there’s one thing you absolutely have to remember to do if you decide to switch to a new provider – and that’s to provide proof of your no claims discount. If you don’t, you could find yourself without any cover at all.

Why do I need to move my no claims discount?

When you switch car insurance provider, they’ll ask you how many years of No Claims Discount (NCD) you have. Your NCD - or no claims bonus as it’s sometimes known - is awarded each full year that you drive without making a claim. That discount is then applied to your insurance premium, so making sure that you move your NCD to a new provider is imperative if you want to get the best possible price for your insurance.

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So how do I move it then?

That depends on who your previous insurance provider was and who your new one is, as each will handle the process slightly differently. When your existing policy comes up for review, you’ll usually get a renewal letter which will provide details about your cover, car and how many years of no claims you’ve built up. But then again, sometimes you won’t and you’ll need to request your no claims information separately. Usually it’s straightforward and you’ll be able to ask for proof online or via a dedicated customer care number.

When it comes to giving your new insurance provider proof, some will let you fill in an online form to confirm your NCD and they’ll follow it up from there; others will accept a scanned and emailed copy but some may want a hard copy of written confirmation. Your written confirmation should be on official headed paper and show the name of the main driver and the car details, the expiry date if your policy, as well as the number of years NCD that you have.

Make sure you send your new provider the proof they need within the time frame they’ve set out, otherwise they could cancel your insurance. It’s also worth asking for confirmation that your new insurance provider’s received your evidence because we all know how letters can get lost in the post.

Be aware of the no claims bonus expiry

Your confirmation letter should show the date when your policy expired because your no claims discount is usually valid for two years. So if you’ve taken a break from driving and your last insurance policy was from four years ago, you might end up having to start building your no claims discounts all over again.

Something else to watch out for is if you’ve had to cancel your insurance policy mid-term you will not earn any NCD for the time that you were insured, as NCD is only earned in each full year that you are insured.

For example, if you have 1 year of NCD, then switch provider for a new annual policy which ends up being cancelled after 6 months (perhaps if you have bought a new vehicle and your new provider won’t insure it with the same policy), the 6 months of no claims would be written off, and you would still only have your original year’s worth of NCD.

Hassle free insurance

It sounds like a faff but switching insurance provider and moving your NCD could save you a whole lot of cash – more than a quarter of customers saved an average of £520 in 2016**. Just make sure you keep your renewal letter with NCD proof or request evidence of it as soon as your policy ends. Always check that your new insurance provider’s received it – a posted letter or sent email might be job done as far as you’re concerned but until it’s reached its destination, your new policy isn’t guaranteed.

Whatever you do, don’t fall into the black hole of car insurance – also known as auto renewal – break free of your existing provider at renewal (so that you earn your full year NCD) and see what else is on offer – start a new quote today.

** On average 28.84% of new car insurance customers achieved this saving with, according to independent research carried out by Consumer Intelligence during May 2016.

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