Protection for car insurance no claims bonus not as safe as it sounds

22 April 2008 / by Rebecca Sargent
No claims bonus protection on car insurance may not be all it's cracked up to be, according to research from esure Car Insurance.

Research has found that paying to protect your no claims bonus often comes with hidden conditions that can negate any potential savings made.

The research has shown that 37 per cent of drivers who pay to protect their no claims discounts (NCD) are not aware that there is usually a set limit to the number of claims they can make on their car insurance policy before the NCD protection becomes invalid. And, according to esure, several insurers allow only one 'at fault claim' during the first year of insurance.

According to esure, no claims bonus protection is worth paying for as long as you read the small print and understand the conditions. The research shows that despite its benefits, 37 per cent of drivers with more than four years no claims bonus decide not to pay the extra in order to protect it.

Of those who choose not to protect their no claims bonus, 32 per cent have an 'it won't happen to me' attitude; believing that because they have not had an accident or made a claim in the past, there is no point in protecting against future accidents and claims.

However, unavoidable driving incidents can happen at anytime, regardless of driving ability, according to esure. Consequently, esure Car Insurance is now offering a no claims bonus protection scheme that offers 'protection for life', offering a guaranteed level of no claims discount, regardless of any claims made during the policy.

Head of risk and underwriting at esure, Mike Pickard, said: "We have long believed there are millions of drivers who make a single claim and then find their discount reduced because of a second incident that may be beyond their control.

"Thousands of cars each year are damaged by animals, falling roof tiles and vandals – where there's no other insurer to pay up – as well as the millions of usual bumps and scrapes."

Mr Pickard warned: "Drivers should check the small print for the no claim discount protection of their current policy to see how protected they would actually be if the unexpected did happen.

"We believe that safe drivers who have earned their maximum no claim discount from driving claim free deserve to be fully protected," he concluded.

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