Car Insurance - Motorists should protect their no claims bonuses

As motorists across the country are trying to cut back on their motoring expenses, reports show that several of them are choosing to forego add-on cover services on from their car insurance provider.

The car insurance provider, esure stated that there had been a drop of more than seven per cent of motorists taking out no claims protection, since autumn last year when the recession began.

Over the same period of time, an 8.6 per cent decline among motorists taking out legal protection in addition to their car insurance policies.

The insurance provider is also noting that car insurance customers should not skimp on their cover, as they may be in need of it, should they become involved in an accident or need the legal services.

No claims bonuses

A key point that was highlighted by esure as a way to lower insurance costs, is to build up a no claims bonus. This is a bonus that will be deducted from an insurance policy, if no claims have been made from the existing insurance premiums.

A number of Insurance providers rate their no claims bonuses on different scales, but reports show that some insurers can cut around 70 per cent from their insurance premiums if a driver has not claimed on their policy in five years.

Esure stated that if one of its insurance customers were to claim once on their policy, their 70 per cent no claims discount would drop to 55 per cent, meaning that at their policy renewal date, they will have to pay a higher policy. Two claims within a year, would see their no claims bonus drop further to 35 per cent, while three claims, would cancel out the no claims bonus.

Figures show difference no claims can make

In figures, this would mean that, with a 70 per cent discount where no claims have been made, a male driver aged 35-years-old, living in East London, driving a Ford Focus 57 plate, would pay £230.33.

However if he had to make one fault claim with the policy year, his premium would rise to £385.73. Two claims would cause the insurance premium to rise further to £729.68. Three claims, within a year would result in the no claims bonus dropping to zero per cent and leaving the driver to fork out £1,540.78, for the premium.

Drivers have been further advised to check the small print on their insurance cover, as some insurers will cancel their no claims bonuses if a driver makes too many claims on their car insurance.

Thirty-seven per cent of motorists are unaware of this and by keeping well within their limits, could be saving hundreds on their car insurance premiums.

Mike Pickard, the head of risk and underwriting at esure car insurance, said: "Protecting such a valuable way to bring down your insurance premium makes sense."

He added: "By adding a small premium - in the tens of pounds - makes sense if it could stop your no claim discount being reduced in the event of having to make a single claim, or more than one claim."

He also said: "Although car insurance is mandatory, ditching additional cover such as no claim discount protection, motor legal protection and breakdown cover to save a few pounds can be a false economy if the unexpected does happen such as hitting a deer, a sudden mechanical failure or an accident where you're not the one to blame."

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