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How many claim-free years will I lose?

If you have car insurance in your name, you build up claim-free years. For every year that you do not claim a claim with the insurer, you get one claim-free year. The more claim-free years you have, the more no-claim discount you get. In this way, the insurer rewards you for claim-free driving. However, you can also lose claim-free years. You then drop down the no-claim discount ladder and receive less premium discount. But how many claim-free years do you lose exactly? In this article we explain.

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losing claims-free years

Losing claim-free years after a claim

You lose claim-free years by claiming damages from the car insurance company. One claim costs you five claim-free years. If you have more than 15 claim-free years, you always fall back to 10 claim-free years after a claim. However, you do not lose accrued claim-free years for all damage claims. Damages that are covered by the WA limited casco part of your car insurance do not affect your claim-free years. Think for example of windshield damage, storm and hail damage and theft of the car. In case of damage caused by a collision or vandalism, the claim on the insurance will be at the expense of your claim-free years.

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Consequences of losing claim-free years

Losing claim-free years has a number of consequences. If you make a claim with the insurer, you fall back on the bonus malus ladder. You then get less premium discount and will pay more premium for your car insurance. Because you immediately lose 5 claim-free years, the premium can increase significantly. Have you not yet built up that many claim-free years or do you claim several damages in a short period of time? Then a possible consequence is that you will end up with negative claim-free years. This means that you no longer receive a premium discount at all, but a premium surcharge.

Rebuilding lost years

Rebuilding lost claim-free years takes a lot of time. For every claim you claim, you lose 5 claim-free years. However, you only get 1 claim-free year per year, provided you don't claim any damage. So after a relapse, it takes 5 years before you are back to the same number of years. Before Jan. 1, 2016, this was different. Back then, each insurer was allowed to decide how many claim-free years you lost after a claim. Because of this, it could happen that you lost 3 claim-free years with one insurer, and 5 with another, while it concerned the same damage. This was considered unfair and therefore a new regulation was created. With this regulation, everyone who claims a damage falls back 5 claim-free years.

It is wise to first look at the follow through of claiming. Because you immediately lose 5 claim-free years, the premium goes up significantly. If the damage is relatively small and the repair costs not too high, you can consider paying for the damage yourself instead of claiming. You will then retain your claim-free years and no-claim discount. You can find your insurer's bonus-malus ladder in the policy conditions of your car insurance.

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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  • To calculate premiums, we need the zip code of the primary driver. For private use, the youngest driver must reside at the same address as the applicant. In case of business use, you can enter the postal code of the company here.

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