If you have to make a claim on your car insurance, the impact on your future premiums will depend on whether your claim was considered to be your fault. Find out more about at-fault car insurance claims and how they could affect the cost of your renewal.
Sometimes there is no avoiding the fact an accident was your fault — if you hit another driver from behind or hit a stationary object, it’s hard to argue that you were not to blame. Insurers will investigate each claim and will decide which driver was at fault. If you are deemed to be the at-fault driver, this will be noted on your claim.
Confusingly, fault is not always the same as blame. Even in incidents where you are not to blame, for example if somebody vandalises your car or if you’re hit by an uninsured driver, this may be treated as an at-fault claim. This is because your insurer will be unable to recover its costs from the guilty party. Read more about vandalism claims in our guide.
Unfortunately at-fault claims tend to affect insurance premiums more than any other claim, as drivers with at-fault claims are statistically more likely to make another claim that will be costly to the insurer.
If you are considered to be at fault, it is likely you will lose some or all of any no-claims bonus you have accrued over the years. Even if your no-claims bonus was protected at the time of the claim, it’s important to note that your premium could still go up (your no-claims discount is added after your premium is calculated).
You will need to declare your claim every time you renew your insurance for three to five years, but the effect on the premium is likely to be minimised each year as you rebuild your no-claims bonus.
If you’ve made an at-fault claim, there are many ways to reduce the cost of your car insurance renewal. If you’re in the market for a new car, consider one in a low insurance group — these are usually cars with small engines or good safety features. You could also look into black box insurance, which could reduce the cost of your insurance over the year if you demonstrate safe driving.
You might also consider protecting your no-claims bonus to avoid losing it if you have to make another claim. Many insurers will allow you to add this cover on at an additional cost to your annual premium.
If you’re switching insurers, be sure to call after getting an initial quote online. Some insurers may be willing to negotiate on their initial quote once they’ve discussed the details of your claim with you.
Of course, it’s advised you shop around for car insurance if you’re unhappy with your renewal quote. Compare car insurance quotes using the tool below: