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When do you lose claim-free years?

If you drive claim-free, you get a discount on your car insurance premium. The more claim-free years you accumulate, the more premium discount you get. Unfortunately, you can also fall back in claim-free years. You lose claim-free years the moment you claim a damage with the insurer. This applies not only to damage to your own car, but also if you are responsible for damage to another driver's car. You also lose loss-free years if you claim damage where the culprit is unknown, such as vandalism.

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Loss of claim-free years

How many claim-free years do I lose after a claim?

Every year that you do not claim, you build up one claim-free year. If you make one or more claims, you lose 5 claim-free years. If you have more than 15 claim-free years, you always fall back to 10 claim-free years after a claim. 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 claim. 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.

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Consequences if you lose claim-free years

Losing claim-free years has a number of consequences for your car insurance. The premium of a car insurance is partly calculated on the basis of your accumulated claim-free years. If you lose your claim-free years, this will affect the premium for your insurance.

Higher premium

Do you lose claim-free years? Then you drop down the bonus malus ladder. Based on the bonus malus ladder, insurers determine the no-claim discount of your car insurance. The higher you are on the ladder, the more no-claim discount you will receive. If you lose your claim-free years and fall on the bonus malus ladder, you will pay more for your car insurance. Each insurer has its own bonus malus arrangement, so we cannot tell you exactly how much more premium you will pay. This differs per insurer. The bonus-malus rule of your insurer can be found in the policy conditions.

Negative claim-free years

Claiming damages therefore comes at the expense of your claim-free years, but did you know that you can also have negative claim-free years? The bonus malus ladder does not stop at 0, but also goes into the minus. If you have not yet accumulated many claim-free years, or if you make several claims in a short period of time, you can have negative claim-free years. We call this a malus registration. If you have negative claim-free years, you no longer receive a discount on the premium, but instead a premium surcharge. This can also have unpleasant consequences for your car insurance, because not every insurer will accept an insurance application if you have a malus registration.

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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