Car Insurance Terms Explained: No Claims Bonus

A no-claims bonus (NCB) is a discount on an auto insurance premium that is earned by not making any claims on your insurance policy. The amount of discount varies for different insurance companies. A NCB of five years can potentially be worth a 60 – 70 % discount on car insurance premiums. For every year that a driver has auto insurance and does not make a claim, they earn a year on their NCB. The maximum is usually five years though some companies continue to offer discounts for six to eight years. When shopping for new car insurance, it is essential to find out more about the no-claims bonus.

It is very important to understand that the no-claims bonus is not a “no blame” or a “no-fault” bonus. The NCB will be denied irrespective of who was to blame. Even if your car gets stolen, the no-claims bonus is lost. Any claim you make will cause you to lose the NCB. Some insurers offer NCB protection; for a small additional fee you can protect and keep your no-claims bonus even if make a claim during the year. This NCB protection is relatively new and is treated differently by different insurers. The protection may keep your NCB intact or it may move it back two or three years. The special coverage may be good for only one claim and the costs will vary depending on your policy and insurance carrier. If you are looking to change insurance companies and are shopping for new car insurance, your no-claims bonus can usually be transferred to your new company.

The NCB is only one of the factors that determine your insurance cost when calculating your premium price. Most insurance carriers have a list of questions they ask when applying for new car insurance. These questions are used as part of a complex calculation to determine your final insurance cost. The discount for the NCB is not applied at the end of this calculation; it is applied somewhere in the middle. Don’t expect your premium cost to be reduced by 60- 70 % as the reduction will take place somewhere during the underwriting process. However, though you will not see your insurance premiums cut by more than half, the no-claims bonus provides you with substantial savings and should be considered when shopping for auto insurance.

The NCB is important to lowering your insurance costs. Protect by driving safely, securing your vehicle, maintaining your car, and following the rules of the road. Having earned the NCB will make shopping for new car insurance a more rewarding and less costly experience.

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