How much does the premium of a car insurance go up after damage?
Car damage is of course annoying enough. You take out a car insurance to get compensation for the damage caused by an accident or to reimburse the other party when you are at fault. What about the premium of your car insurance? How much do you pay more after one claim and when does this increase take effect?
Increase in premium due to damage caused by fault
If you have had an accident with your car, due to your fault, chances are that your auto insurance premium will be increased. However, this does not happen immediately after the claim is settled.
When the damage is small, it can sometimes be more profitable not to claim it, but to pay for it yourself. For each damage claim you submit, you fall back 5 damage free years. As a result, you lose part of your accumulated discount and your premium increases.
Decline in claim-free years what now?
The premium increase is the result of a decrease in your claim-free years. Insurance companies determine, based on the bonus malus ladder and the number of accumulated claim-free years, how much of a discount you will receive on the premium for your car insurance. Each (culpable) claim results in a decrease of 5 damage free years. This is the same for each insurer. The amount of discount is laid down in the insurance company's bonus malus ladder. Each insurer has its own bonus malus ladder. Therefore it is possible that with one insurer you receive more discount with the same number of claim-free years, than with another insurer. It is possible that after a claim with one insurance company you receive a lot less discount and with another insurance company the difference in discount is negligible.
Negative claim-free years how does that work?
A claim on your car insurance will be at the expense of your claim-free years. Drivers who have built up no or hardly any claim-free years, can get negative claim-free years as a result of one claim. This is also called a malus. If you have a malus registration, you will no longer receive a discount on the premium, but rather a premium surcharge.
Claim-free years are linked to your car insurance. Cancelling your car insurance will not make you lose your negative claim-free years. Switching to another car insurance company is not a solution either. Claim-free years are registered in a central database for insurers, called Roy-Data. When you switch to another insurance company, the new insurer will ask for your data in Roy-Data. The new insurer will also see your negative claim-free years. You can get rid of your negative claim-free years by building up claim-free years again. This does not happen quickly, because with one claim you lose five years. After five years of damage-free driving, you will have erased the effect of one claim.
When does the premium increase take effect after a claim?
A premium increase does not take effect immediately after the claim is settled. It has to do with the date your auto insurance started. If your car insurance starts on August 1, you will receive the new policy and a new green card every year around this date. Your car insurer will also determine each year on that date whether or not you will receive an additional claim-free year. Suppose you have an accident on September 1 of the same year that you are at fault for, then the premium increase will only be implemented from the following year on August 1.
However, it can also be different. Do you have an accident a few days before the new insurance year starts that is not your fault? Then the claim will be processed by the insurer. This can take some time. Because you have claimed damage which has not yet been settled, the insurer may choose to reduce your claim-free years, which means you have to pay more premium. The investigation may reveal that your car insurer must pay you for the damage after all. To prevent you from having to pay extra, the insurer will increase your premium as a precaution. If it turns out later that you should not have paid more, you will be refunded the excess amount over the entire period.
Do you have any questions regarding a premium increase for your car insurance? Please contact us. We are happy to help you! You can reach us Monday through Friday between 08:00 and 18:00 on telephone number 088-6883700.
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