February 3, 2011

Insurers will have enjoyed reading an article in the Daily Telegraph this week which cautioned policyholders against claiming on their insurance policies.

There will inevitably be complex number crunching to do, the DT warns, when deciding whether to claim – because “that is what you pay your premiums for and you deserve to get something back” – or not to bother – because it’s a bit of a hassle and the insurer will probably use it “as an excuse to hike your premiums sky high for years to come.”

Your claim, the Telegraph cautions, will “not just count against you when you come to renew your policy, it will continue to bite you for many years to come.” And let’s face most people wouldn’t fancy being bitten for years on end.

The paper quotes Moneysupermarket’s head of insurance Julie O’Wens who warns that “Even small claims will make a difference to your premiums.”

Easiest thing to do, then? Don’t bother claiming!

For those who will insist on making a claim, the Teleguff says: “the first thing you need to understand is how the insurers are sizing you up when you come to renew, and how long the claims will remain on your file.”

GoCompario told the Telegraph that “most car insurance companies look back three years when offering a new insurance policy.” So if a 24-year-old Corsa-driving woman from Bristol with a three-year no-claims bonus makes a claim, her annual premium will rise from £482 to £710 even if she shops around. Over three years this would cost her nearly £700.

So basically: don’t claim on your insurance.

GoCampari’s figures suggest that more people are getting the message that claiming for anything less than a total wipeout is simply not worth it and are opting for the high voluntary excess/cheaper premium route. The number of claims made with a value of less than £250 has apparently declined by 10 per cent since 2008.

Monkeysupermarket’s O’Wens says: “Always think twice about making a claim – even small claims can make a big difference. Your renewal price will increase even when you shop around.”

That should do it! Now let’s see who we can lose from the claims payroll…

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