Car insurance for drivers with previous claims

Discover how to save on your car insurance even after making previous claims. Read our guide and compare options here.

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If you’ve made several claims on your car insurance in the past, you might want to consider how your claims history might affect your future car cover premiums. Take a look at our guide to compare car insurance providers and find out how you can still save money on your car insurance even after making previous claims.

Will a previous claim affect the price of my car insurance?

Several factors can affect the cost of your car insurance. These include your age, driving experience and history, where you live, your car’s make and model, security and what you use your car for. Another factor to affect the price of your car cover is your claims history.

Making a claim on car insurance will almost certainly affect the price of your premiums and means it increases. A no claims discount might also be partly or completely lost when a claim is made, pushing the premium up even higher.

While no two claims are the same, insurers tend to separate claims into two categories to assess who is responsible. These are “at-fault” claims and “non-fault” claims.

At-fault claims occur when the driver’s insurer has to pay out for a claim and can’t recover any costs from a third party due to the policyholder being deemed at fault.

Non-fault claims claims occur when a third-party insurer makes the payments towards any damage because the third-party driver is at fault.

How long will a claim affect my car insurance for?

How long a previous claim will affect a car insurance premium really depends on the insurance provider. When you obtain a car insurance quote, you’ll be asked about your claims history that usually covers a period of around three to five years. Any claim made within this time period is likely to affect your premium but as time passes between your last claim, those older claims should start to have less of an effect on your premium.

How much does car insurance go up after a claim?

At-fault claims or claims you’re responsible for are likely to push premiums up higher than non-fault claims. This is mainly due to insurers believing that at-fault drivers are more likely to need to claim again, which increases their risk profile.

The amount your car insurance premium increases will depend on the nature of the claim, how much your insurer has to pay out to cover the claim and your current level of risk.

Will making a claim affect my no claims discount?

Unfortunately, making a claim on your car insurance is likely to affect your no claims discount, unless you chose to enhance your cover with no claims discount protection when you first took out car cover with the insurer.

Many insurers have an uninsured driver promise included in the cover benefits, which means if you’re involved in a crash with an at-fault uninsured driver, your no claims bonus might still be protected.

It’s worth remembering that even if you manage to keep hold of some or all of your no claims discount after a claim, your overall premium could still increase. This is because an insurer may view you as more of a risk on the roads or more likely to make a claim again.

The guidelines will vary between insurers so be sure to understand whether you can make any claims without affecting your no claims discount.

How can I save money on car insurance if I have made previous claims?

  • Increase excess. Agreeing to pay a bigger voluntary excess could make your overall premium cheaper. But remember your insurer won’t pay out for a claim that costs less than your excess. So be careful about making it too high, as it could leave you out of pocket if damage occurs.
  • Limit optional extras if you don’t need them. Think carefully about which optional extras you really want as adding extra protection to your policy will generally push the price up too.
  • Avoid paying monthly. If you can, try to pay for your premium in one go as you’ll pay interest if the premium is spread out over the year.
  • Pick a smaller car. Choosing to drive a small and safe car is likely to lower your premium.
  • Consider telematics insurance. Having a “black box” fitted to your car to monitor your driving could result in discounts if you drive safely.
  • Shop around. Don’t simply choose to renew your car insurance with the same insurer when it’s up for renewal as you could end up paying more than you need. Shop around and compare your options to find the best deal. Keep in mind that the cheapest policy isn’t always the best policy so check the cover details carefully to ensure they match your needs.

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How can I check my car insurance claims history?

You have a couple of options for checking your car insurance claims history. The easiest option is to request your claims history directly from your current car insurance provider. Your provider should be able to provide you with key information relating to any claims such as the dates of claims, the types of claims, the settlement amounts or payouts and any injuries claimed as well as any other details. If, for some reason, your insurance provider is unable to provide you with any details relating to your claims history, you have an alternative option.

You can check the Claims and Underwriting Exchange (CUE) database, which is a register of all claims made in the UK relating to home, personal injury, travel and motor insurance. It was set up in 1994 to help insurers keep track of claims and to minimise insurance fraud as all incidents are recorded whether they result in a claim or not.

As well as insurance providers being able to access information from this database, you’re also able to look at your own claims history. You can obtain your report online or speak to a representative for further details.

Frequently asked questions

Finder survey: What level of price hike would stop you auto-renewing your car insurance?

ResponseYorkshire and the HumberWest MidlandsWalesSouth WestSouth EastScotlandNorthern IrelandNorth WestNorth EastGreater LondonEast of EnglandEast Midlands
£25-4920%13.91%25.76%21.74%15.23%17.11%16.67%12.4%26.19%12.96%19.54%15.91%
Not sure14.12%6.96%9.09%8.7%8.61%11.84%12.5%9.09%9.52%12.04%9.2%13.64%
£1-£2414.12%2.61%15.15%5.8%14.57%11.84%8.33%4.96%4.76%6.48%16.09%7.95%
£100-£1999.41%21.74%12.12%10.14%10.6%13.16%12.5%22.31%7.14%16.67%17.24%14.77%
£50-999.41%25.22%15.15%20.29%17.22%17.11%16.67%19.83%9.52%20.37%17.24%19.32%
N/A there is no price hike that would stop me letting my car insurance auto-renew2.35%4.35%3.03%7.25%5.96%5.26%8.26%11.9%3.7%2.3%2.27%
£200 or more, please specify2.61%1.45%0.66%1.32%0.83%1.15%1.14%
Source: Finder survey by Censuswide of 1032 Brits, December 2023
*Based on data provided by Consumer Intelligence Ltd, www.consumerintelligence.com (Mar ’24). 51% of car insurance customers could save £539.54
The offers compared on this page are chosen from a range of products we can track; we don't cover every product on the market...yet. Unless we've indicated otherwise, products are shown in no particular order or ranking. The terms "best", "top", "cheap" (and variations), aren't product ratings, although we always explain what's great about a product when we highlight it; this is subject to our terms of use. When making a big financial decision, it's wise to consider getting independent financial advice, and always consider your own financial circumstances when comparing products so you get what's right for you. Most of the data in Finder's comparison tables has the source: Moneyfacts Group PLC. In other cases, Finder has sourced data directly from providers.
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Written by

Helen Champion

Helen Champion was an associate editor at Finder. She has worked in communications for over 16 years and currently writes on a range of topics including insurance and money transfers in the hope of empowering people to make better financial decisions. During her broadcast career, she helped to produce hundreds of news and breaking news reports for Associated Press TV and ITV News. And in public relations, she managed several high-profile public relations campaigns for Macmillan Cancer Support, the General Medical Council and overseas for Qatar Foundation on behalf of BLJ Worldwide. Helen has a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from the University of Lincoln, a passion for practising karate in the dojo and a deep love of making mischief with her sons. See full profile

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