Do non fault accidents affect no claims bonus?

March 22, 2022

Most of us are overly familiar with the cringe terminology “where there’s blame, there’s a claim” making it appear, on the face of it, that most motorists have absolutely nothing to worry about if they’re involved in a non-fault car collision and a third party is completely to blame.

However, there are certain circumstances where, if you make a non fault claim on your motor insurance, you could lose out financially even though you’ve done nothing wrong.

And even simply being involved in a road traffic accident, which you are obliged to report to your insurer as a matter of course, can affect your future insurance premiums, regardless of whose fault the accident is.

So how does a non fault accident affect insurance? Do you have to pay an excess and do you lose or affect your no claims after being involved in an accident? And what happens if the ‘at fault’ driver is uninsured?

Here’s what you should know about how a no-fault vehicle collision claim can affect your no claims bonus (NCB) and more.

Non fault accident

What does a no-fault accident mean?

Will a non-fault accident affect my insurance UK?

Do I lose my no claims if someone hits me?

Why do I have to pay excess non fault claim?

How you can avoid paying excess on a no-fault claim

How to make a non fault claim

What does no fault accident mean?

The meaning of a ‘non-fault accident’ is when your vehicle is involved in a crash, but it wasn’t your driving that caused it to happen; it was a third party’s fault.

Typically and if you’re lucky, a no fault accident claim, in the majority of cases, means that all costs will be met by the ‘at fault’ driver’s insurance company and no payment will have to be made by the driver (who wasn’t to blame) or their insurer.

However, there are circumstances where you may have to make a claim on your own policy.

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You might like: Is it really worth protecting your no claims bonus (NCB)?

Will a non-fault accident affect my insurance UK?

Whether or not a no-fault collision affects your motor insurance depends on whether:

  • the at-fault driver is insured
  • the driver responsible can be traced
  • your own insurance includes an ‘uninsured driver promise’
  • the claim is specifically for vandalism, or damage is caused to a parked vehicle

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No, if the at-fault driver is insured and can be traced

If you’re involved in an accident with a fully insured at-fault driver, then your insurer is usually able to claim all costs from the at-fault driver’s insurer meaning no claim on your insurance is necessary.

No, if the at-fault driver is uninsured but you have an uninsured driver guarantee and the driver can be traced

Contrary to popular belief, if an at-fault driver isn’t fully insured, as long as your insurer offers an ‘uninsured driver guarantee’ in your policy’s terms and the guilty driver can be traced, then your insurance won’t be affected.

Most comprehensive insurance policies now include an uninsured driver promise or guarantee, as standard. However, not all insurers offer uninsured driver guarantees so you should specifically check with your insurer whether this protective cover is included.

Maybe, if the at-fault driver is uninsured, you have uninsured driver cover but the other driver cannot be traced

Regardless of whether or not your insurance includes uninsured driver cover, if the driver who caused an accident cannot be traced then you may have to claim on your own insurance. This will depend on your insurer’s terms and conditions.

Yes, if the at-fault driver is uninsured and you don’t have uninsured driver cover

If an at-fault driver is not insured and your insurance provider does not provide uninsured driver cover under your fully comprehensive insurance policy, you will usually have to make a claim on your own insurance.

If you only have third party insurance and are hit by an uninsured driver, you can instead try to make a claim with the Motor Insurers Bureau (MIB).

Yes, if your vehicle is vandalised or damaged whilst parked

Other circumstances where no fault claims can result, albeit unfairly, in your insurance being affected is if your car is vandalised or damaged while parked on a road or in a public car park and the third party who caused the damage, cannot be traced.

As your insurer would not be able to seek non-fault collision compensation from a third party or their insurer, a claim would have to be made on your own insurance and therefore effectively treated as though the damage caused was your own fault.

You might like: Do you have to disclose a ‘non-fault’ claim when getting a new car insurance quote?

Do I lose my no claims if someone hits me?

You can lose or affect your no claims discount (also known as a no-claims bonus) if you have to make a claim on your own fully comp insurance for any of the three reasons outlined above.

According to the Financial Ombudsman, you can expect your no-claims bonus to reduce by two years, even if an accident wasn’t your fault but your insurer isn’t able to recoup the costs from the third party [at fault] driver.

Read more: What is a no-claims discount?

Why do I have to pay excess non fault claim?

You will only have to pay your excess for a no-fault claim if you have to make a claim on your own insurance; you do not need to pay excess on a no-fault claim if a claim is not made on your own insurance. (The three reasons why a claim on your own insurance may be necessary are outlined above).

How to avoid paying excess on a no-fault claim

As long as the at-fault driver is traceable, a way to avoid paying your excess by making a claim through your own insurer is to instead use a credit hire company.

A credit hire company can pay for a replacement hire vehicle and the cost of repairs, and then claim back these costs from the other driver’s insurance company.

You can find out more about using a credit hire company on the Citizens Advice website.

Find out how to get cheap car excess insurance quotes with Bobatoo.

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How to make a non fault claim

  • When safe to do so, exchange names, addresses and telephone numbers with any third party (or parties if involved in a multiple collision).
  • Make a note of the third party’s vehicle: make, model, colour and registration number. You can also use AskMID to look up someone else’s motor insurance validity at a one-off cost of £4.50.
  • Make a note and/or draw a sketch detailing the collision: how it happened, what the weather was like, what vehicles were where on the road, what speed you were travelling at, etc.
  • Take photographs of the traffic accident scene including any damage to your own or other vehicles, tyre marks on the road, nearby traffic signs - anything at all that will help clarify what happened, why and where.
  • If there are independent witnesses available, ask them to kindly provide their name and contact details so witness statements can be obtained if necessary.
  • If any involved party drives off without stopping, if possible, try to make a note of their registration and call the police. You should also contact the police if someone is injured or you suspect a third party has committed a driving offence. You do not need to contact the police if details are exchanged at the scene, no one is injured and no driving offence committed.
  • Contact your insurer’s claims line and report the accident providing as much information as possible. You will usually find the number within your insurance policy documents.

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