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Compensation claim or better to pay for it yourself?

Claimingcar damage or better to pay for it yourself? When you claim car damage on your car insurance, it usually has consequences for your claim-free years. Because of this, the premium can increase in the next insurance year. In some cases it is therefore cheaper to pay for the damage yourself. When is it best to claim car damage and when not to?

Claiming car damage

Which claims cost you claim-free years?

All claims for fault on your car insurance will be at the expense of your claim-free years. This means that when you accidentally hit another car, you are to blame. Because of this the damage of the other party will be claimed at your car insurance. If you have an all-risk car insurance, you will also be reimbursed for the damage to your own car.

Damages that you claim on your third-party limited casco car insurance do not affect your claim-free years. This could include broken windows, theft of the car or a collision with stray animals. Car damage to your car caused by someone else is recovered by your insurer from the other party. This will not cost you any damage-free years.
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Car damage and claim-free years how about exactly?

The amount of the premium for your car insurance depends strongly on your claim-free years. By driving damage free, you build up years of damage free. 1 year of damage free driving results in 1 year of damage free driving. Claim-free years entitle you to a discount on the premium. When claiming damage on your car insurance, you lose years of claims-free driving. However, this is only the case in case of damage. When the insurer can recover the paid-out damage from the other party, it has no consequences for your claim-free years and the amount of the premium.

In the year that you claim damage, you do not build up a claim-free year, but you lose five claim-free years. This can reduce your discount by tens of percent. This depends on your position on the bonus-malus ladder. Insurers determine your discount with the help of the bonus malus ladder. Each insurer has its own bonus malus regulation, therefore there can be differences in discount between the different insurers.

When to claim damages?

Have you suffered car damage? Then your first thought is probably: luckily I am insured! It seems logical to claim damage with your car insurer. However, it is not always wise to claim. By claiming a loss, you lose years of claim-free time and the insurance premium increases. However, there are some situations where it is always wise to claim the damage.

If the other party is guilty what should I do?

If someone else is responsible for the damage to your car, you can claim it from the insurer of the other party. The damage is not your fault, so the claim is not at the expense of your claim-free years. Fill in a claim form together immediately after the accident. Also take pictures of the damage caused. Clear information about what happened and what damage was suffered makes it easier to claim the damage.

If you have no-claims protection how should I proceed?

When you choose a no-claims protector when taking out insurance, you can claim one claim per year without affecting the discount on your car insurance. Please note! You will fall back in claim-free years. However, this does not affect the premium. Without no-claim protector you will pay more for your car insurance when you make a claim. When you switch to another insurer you can often take your no-claim years with you.

If the repair cost is too high to pay for yourself who pays for it?

Repair costs for damaged cars can sometimes be quite high. Even if you accidentally hit a bollard while parking, the repair costs can be high, for example if the bumper has to be dented or if there is serious damage to the paintwork. If the repair costs run into thousands of euros, it is sometimes wiser to claim the damage from the insurer. You can check the bonus malus ladder to see how much more premium you have to pay after the damage and compare it to the cost of the repair.

When to pay for damages yourself?

In some cases it can be better not to claim a small(er) damage on your car insurance. As mentioned before, for every claimed claim you lose 5 claim-free years, regardless of the amount of the claim. Therefore it can be more profitable to pay for the damage yourself instead of claiming it on your car insurance. Often the premium increase that arises when you make a claim is higher than the total amount of a small claim.

If you already have so many claim-free years that the reduction has no effect on your premium

Have you been driving for many years without claiming any damage from the insurer? Then you have probably already accumulated many claim-free years. By claiming a loss, you fall back on the bonus-malus ladder, but if you are already at the top of the ladder, the discount remains the same with some insurers.

If the repair costs are disproportionate to the premium increase

If the damage is minor, sometimes the damage amount is not very high. In that case, it is often wiser to pay for the damage yourself. In most cases, the premium increase that occurs when you claim the damage is higher than repair costs.

How to claim damages from the other party?

Do you want to claim damages after a collision? Then fill in the claim form or the claim app together with the other party. Do not leave this out, because it may contain indispensable information that you need to hold the other party liable. When reporting the damage, you should make a situation sketch of what happened and what damage occurred. Report the damage as soon as possible to your insurer or intermediary. Do you have an All Risk (full casco) car insurance? Then the insurer will compensate the damage immediately. They will then recover the damage from the other party. In that case you don't have to go after the compensation yourself.

How do I claim for car damage?

You can claim car damage by contacting your agent or insurer. They will ask you to fill in and send a European claim form. You will receive this claim form as standard when you take out car insurance. It is wise to keep it in the glove compartment of your car so that you always have it to hand.

Claiming damages: perpetrator unknown

In some cases there is car damage, but the culprit is unknown. For example, you park your car to run an errand, and when you come back it turns out that there is a large dent in your door. Someone probably made an error of judgement when parking, but the perpetrator is nowhere to be seen and has not left a note. If the culprit is unknown, there is no way to claim the damage. In such situations, you can appeal to the Motor Traffic Guarantee Fund. The Waarborgfonds compensates for, among other things, car damage where the perpetrator is unknown. One condition is that it must be established that the damage was caused by another motor vehicle. An own risk of €250 also applies in case of an unknown perpetrator.

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