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What is a bonus malus ladder?

A bonus malus ladder is a table that insurers use to determine the no-claims discount for your car insurance. The discount you receive is determined by the number of no-claim years you have. The higher you are on the ladder, the more no-claim discount you will receive. Each insurer has its own bonus malus scheme. As a result, there may be differences in discount between different insurers. You can find the bonus malus arrangement of your insurer in the policy conditions.

 

Example of bonus malus ladder

Bonus malus step Discount rate 0 damage 1 damage 2 damages 3 or more claims
14 70% 14 10 6 2
13 70% 14 9 5 1
12 70% 13 8 4 0
11 70% 12 7 3 -1
10 70% 11 6 2 -2
9 65% 10 5 1 -3
8 60% 9 4 0 -4
7 55% 8 3 -1 -5
6 50% 7 2 -2 -5
5 45% 6 1 -3 -5
4 30% 5 0 -4 -5
3 20% 4 -1 -5 -5
2 20% 3 -2 -5 -5
1 15% 2 -3 -5 -5
0 5% 1 -5 -5 -5
-1 0% 0 -5 -5 -5
-2 -10% -1 -5 -5 -5
-3 -20% -2 -5 -5 -5
-4 -30% -3 -5 -5 -5
-5 -40% -4 -5 -5 -5

How does the bonus malus ladder work?

The bonus malus ladder works like a reward system. The more claim-free years, the higher the discount. Each year that you do not claim any damage with the insurer, you move up one rung on the ladder. The discount can amount to as much as 80% on your basic premium. However, if you do claim damage, you drop down the bonus malus ladder and receive less discount on your premium. With every insurer, you always fall back 5 claim-free years on the bonus malus ladder if you claim a damage. Although the reduction in claim-free years is the same with each insurer, the discount or surcharge may differ.

Negative number of claim-free years will I get a bonus?

The moment you don't claim any damage you can get a nice discount on your premium (bonus). But what if you claim more damage and thus fall on the bonus malus ladder? We call this malus. In this case you do not receive a discount, but you pay a surcharge on your premium. This is for example the case when you claim more than one claim in one year. What can you do when you have negative claim-free years? Read more here.

Not filing a small claim?

In some cases it can be better not to claim a small(er) claim with an insurer. As mentioned before, with every claim you always, with every insurer, fall back 5 damage-free years on the ladder, regardless of the amount of the claim. In case of a small claim it can sometimes be better to pay these costs yourself.

Who pays for the damage if it is no-fault damage?

If the damage to your vehicle is caused by another person, it does not affect the bonus malus arrangement. The insurer will recover the costs from the party who caused the damage.

No-claims protector

When taking out your car insurance, you can take out no-claim protection. This means that you can file one claim per year without having your no-claim discount reduced. Note, you do fall back on the bonus malus ladder back in claim-free years. However, it does not affect the premium. Without no-claim protection you will pay more premium for your car insurance when you make a claim. When you switch to another insurance company, you can often take your no-claims years with you.

Claim-free years transferable since 1-1-2022

Since Jan. 1, 2022, claim-free years are transferable in some situations. Upon death, for example, they can be transferred to the surviving partner. Also for lease drivers and drivers who have lived abroad for years, it is now possible to transfer claim-free years. This way they do not lose their accumulated claim-free years. You can read more about this new regulation in our blog post.

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