Your current no claims bonus probably isn't what you think it is
Believe it or not, the total claim free years you have may not be the same as your number of no claims years. Confusing, eh? This can be for a number of reasons:
Insurers have different maximum no claims limits. Say your faithful insurer of many years offers you nine years no claims – whilst others only offer 5 or 6 as a maximum. That could put you off switching, couldn't it? But you'll probably find that the amount of discount on offer will be very similar.
So when you’re comparing insurance, add in the number of no claims years you’ve had and look at the prices you get back.
You took a break from driving for over two years. Most insurance companies will allow you to keep your no claims bonus for up to two years if you take a break from driving. There are some which will allow a three year break and some won’t allow a break at all – it’s best to speak with the insurer directly.
Of course this is frustrating if you haven't actually stopped driving, you've just simply stopped having your own policy. But you may find although your no claims bonus won't be valid, some insurers will still take into account that you've been driving, which may help.
You make a claim. You might assume that as soon as you make a claim that you'll lose all your no claims bonus. But that's not necessarily the case – often you'll just lose a proportion. However, it's likely to affect your premium at the renewal following your claim.
You moved abroad. If you continued to drive overseas without making a claim, you might assume that you can include those years. It's not impossible, but you'll have to fulfil certain criteria for that to be considered. You'll need to speak to your provider to find out exactly what you’ll need to prove your NCD abroad.
You may not have had a policy in your own name, been a named driver the whole time or had a company car and so may not have built up your NCD.