Are you getting the most out of your Car Insurance Policy? Did you know that you could be entitled to a significant discount on your premium? In this comprehensive guide to the No Claims Bonus in Ireland, we’ll explain everything you need to know about Car Insurance (NCB), sometimes referred to as No Claims Discount (NCD).
No Claims Bonus – What Does It Mean?
Simply put, a No Claims Bonus or NCB is a reward for good driving. The longer you drive, without making a claim on your car insurance policy, the higher the rewards will be. These ‘rewards’ are then discounted from your car insurance premium, saving you money when you renew.
The value of NCB varies from provider to provider. And while you can build up your no claims bonus over an unlimited number of years, many car insurance providers in Ireland base their discounts on a maximum of 5-years, and so it is a good idea to find this out when comparing car insurance quotes.
Who Can Claim NCB?
Anyone with a valid motor insurance policy can earn no claims discounts. For every year that you drive, without making a claim on your insurance, you will earn another year’s NCB, but there are some restrictions.
No claims bonuses are, in most instances, only applicable to the policy holder. Discounts can only be used on one vehicle, and most insurance companies will not allow you to claim for company vehicles or as a Named Driver, so again, this is something to discuss with your insurance provider.
How Is My No Claims Bonus Affected if I Make a Claim?
As the name would suggest, your no claims bonus is a reward for not making a claim on your car insurance policy. If you do make a claim, or if someone makes a claim against you, and your provider has to pay out, your NCB will be affected, or lost altogether.
Individual circumstances vary here, and if it is proven that you were not at fault, your no claims discount may not be affected, particularly if your provider is able to reclaim costs from the other party’s insurer.
How to Protect Your No Claims Bonus
With a no-claims history of 5-years or more, you are likely to get a noticeable reduction on your motor insurance premiums, and so many drivers are prepared to pay a fee keep it. In Ireland, most car insurers will give you the option to protect your NCB for an additional fee, with both Full No Claims Bonus Protection Plans and Step Back Bonus Protection Plans available.
- Full No Claims Bonus Protection Plan: Designed to give motorists peace of mind, this fully comprehensive plan protects your no claims bonus and the discounts associated with it, even if a claim is made against you. It allows you to have a limited amount of ‘at fault’ incidents within a specific time-frame, without affecting your NCB, but it comes at a price. All no claims bonus protection plans include a list of exceptions and limitations, and so you should read the small print before signing on the bottom line.
- Step Back Bonus Protection Plan: Motorists in Ireland have a second option for protecting their no claims bonus, with step back protection. Less costly than full no claims protection, this plan offers a lower level of cover, but ensures you do not lose all of your no claims discount in the event that a claim is made against you. For example, if you currently have five years of claim free driving, and you make a claim, your NCB could be reduced to three years under this type of plan.
What Happens if I Change My Car or Insurance Provider?
Your no claim bonus can be transferred to another car, and in most instances, it can be transferred to another car insurance company, although most insurers require proof in the form of an NCB Certificate, which should be provided by your insurer at the end of your policy term.
When Will My No Claims Discount Expire?
In Ireland, your no claim bonus is valid for 2-years from the date of expiration of your last car insurance policy. This means, that if you do not drive for a period of two years or more, your NCB will expire, and you’ll have to start all over again when you re-apply for car insurance.
Some insurance providers may honour your no claims discount if you haven’t been driving due to reasons beyond your control, such as illness or working overseas, so check with your car insurers to see where you stand on this.