British drivers are seeing significant price hikes after making insurance claims for accidents that weren’t their fault, according to new research from uSwitch.
Nearly two thirds (64%) of drivers who made a car insurance claim were not at fault for the incident, with examples including being driven into by another driver or their car being hit while parked.
But despite not being held accountable for the damage, non-fault claimantshad their insurance premium hiked by an average of 26% — that’s £102 extra on their annual insurance bill, a total price rise of £180 million shared by drivers.
In contrast, drivers that were at fault for an accident saw their premiums increase by £136 after making a claim — just £34 more than innocent claimants.
No blame, no gain
As blameless drivers continue to face increased bills for accidents that weren’t their fault, uSwitch is calling for the insurance industry to provide fairer pricing for motorists that make non-fault claims.
Sabrina Webb, insurance expert at uSwitch, said: “Our research shows that non-fault claimants are being forced to pay a premium for someone else’s careless driving when they renew their insurance policy. The fact that you pay only marginally less than someone who has caused an accident if you are the innocent party is just plain wrong.”
Informing your insurer
Worryingly, almost a quarter (24%) of drivers are unaware that all accidents need to be declared to their insurer, regardless of who was at fault or how minor the damage is.
More than one in ten (13%) of drivers admitted they’d been involved in an accident that wasn’t their fault and hadn’t declared it to their insurer. Some said they wanted to preserve their no claims discount, while others didn’t want to record a claim on their policy.
But by not declaring accidents to their insurer, drivers are risking a penalty more costly than a premium hike. Concealing an accident from your insurer cold lead to them rejecting future claims, leaving you to face the cost of repair.
Sabrina Webb said, “The fact that drivers feel like they have to hide potential claims from their insurer in order to keep down spiralling insurance costs highlights the flaws with the current pricing model.
“The insurance industry needs to stop this unfair practice that does little more than penalise innocent motorists. Meanwhile, drivers can put themselves back in the front seat by shopping around for the right policy for their circumstances when their renewal letter arrives.”