Among the main reasons cited by drivers for not claiming were a desire not to affect their no claims discount, fear that their premiums would sky rocket and a belief that the cost of the repairs were too low to make a claim financially viable. A small handful of others simply admitted they didn’t want the hassle.
The AA does however report that the likelihood of making a claim increases dramatically in accordance with the severity of the crash. 19% of those polled by AA Motor Insurance indicated that they had had some sort of a collision while they themselves were driving over the past ten years and 37% of these admitted that they were entirely to blame.
Looking specifically at this group, just 40% of those involved in a minor collision submitted a claim, a figure which increased to 73% among those involved in a moderate to serious crash.
The AA does however advise at fault drivers to review their level of cover before deciding on whether a claim makes financial sense. “Take a look at what your policy excess is; usually it’ll be about €300, look at how long you have been claims free and also check to see if you have full or partial no claims discount protection on your policy before you make up your mind.” Advises Conor Faughnan, Director of Consumer Affairs, AA Ireland. “If you have full or partial bonus protection in place for example you can typically make one or two claims in a defined time period, usually three years, without your no claims bonus being impacted.”
The AA also explains that drivers who have full bonus protection in place have the peace of mind of knowing that they can make a claim for an unlimited amount and their no claims bonus will not be affected. For those who have partial bonus protection in place, claims can be made up to a certain specified threshold before a drivers no claims discount is affected the AA explains.
“Another form of cover drivers may have is step-back no claims discount protection.” Says Faughnan “For these policyholders in the event of a claim they will see their no claims discount reduce by a predetermined number of years, usually two or three. The idea is that the driver must “earn” back their no claims discount through claims free driving over the next couple of years to fully restore their discount.”
Scenario: 29 year old female, driving a 05 Skoda Fabia with full comprehensive insurance, who is 5 years claim free and has step back protection makes a claim following a collision during which €3,000 in damages were sustained: *quote for illustration purposes only.
Another notable piece of data to emerge from the AA Motor Insurance poll is that a higher percentageof females than males, 58% versus 53%, said they have submitted a claim to their motor insurance provider in the past. However a slightly higher percentage of males than females said they had crashed within the last decade.
“Overall mercifully most of the collisions reported to us were described as minor to moderate but still, in 10% of cases personal injury and substantial damage was done. We’re at that time of year when driving conditions are a little trickier so please drive with extra care, keep the speed down, be conscious of fatigue and put the mobile phone away until you arrive at your destination.” Says Faughnan.