Since insurers use information about your driving history to decide on how much you’ll pay for car insurance, having some no claims bonus (NCB) can make a big difference to the amount you’ll pay.
As such, it’s important to understand how your NCB works – and, crucially, whether or not it expires if you don’t have an active vehicle insurance policy running.
Here, we’ll look at everything you need to know about your NCB – including:
- When does a no claims bonus expire?
- Who accepts an expired no claims bonus?
- Whether your NCB will continue if you’re a named driver
With this information, you’ll be able to decide the best way forward if you want to keep your discount in place.
What is a no claims bonus?
A no claims bonus (sometimes also called a ‘no claims discount’) is a perk that all vehicle insurers offer – and it can be transferred from provider to provider.
Every time you drive for one year without making a claim on your insurance, your cover provider will give you a year’s no claims bonus. When you come to renew, you’ll be asked how many years’ bonus you have – and this will usually apply a discount to the price you’re offered.
A no claims bonus is a good way of insurers incentivising careful driving – after all, who doesn’t want cheaper car insurance?
Even if you swap from one provider to another, you’ll be able to take your no claims discount with you. When you tell your new insurer that you’ve got an NCB, they’ll apply your discount and get confirmation from your previous provider.
If you’re expecting a token discount for careful driving, then you might be surprised. Some insurers offer up to 75% for ‘full’ (5 years+) no claims bonus – so it’s well worth being careful and building up those years.
When does a no claims discount expire?
Since a no claims bonus is intended to give an indication of how careful your recent driving has been – if you let it lapse for too long, it will expire.
Don’t worry though – you’ve got 2 years before you lose any bonus you’ve built up – but after that, you’ll start from zero again. If you want to hold on to your bonus, you’ll need to take out another policy before your 2 years is up.
Will my no claims keep running if I’m a named driver?
The good news is, many insurance companies now offer named drivers their own no claims bonus – even if they’re not the main driver or policyholder.
As such, you’ll often be able to keep your no claim’s bonus running, even if you don’t have your own policy. Not all insurers offer this though – so make sure the policyholder has confirmation that this is the case, so your no claim’s discount doesn’t expire.
Do any insurers accept expired no claims discounts?
There are very few insurers that will take expired no claims bonuses into account when they calculate your quote – but you may find some that will. In fact, you may even find insurers who accept NCB that you’ve built in other countries.
Unfortunately, while your insurer might accept claim free driving or an overseas NCB as an equivalent to a no claims bonus – this won’t create any bonus retrospectively, so your NCB will start building again from zero.