What is a ‘no claims discount’?
A no claims discount is usually offered by some car insurance companies to reward safe drivers. It is a discount that applies to many comprehensive car insurance premiums and usually increases every year you do not make a claim until it reaches a maximum level.
In Australia, participating insurers use a no claims bonus rating system to determine how much of a discount you can receive. Your no claims bonus is set by your insurer, typically taking into account the rating level set by your previous car insurer, your claims history (this includes details of any claims made by other drivers included on your policy) and the length of time the drivers on your policy have been driving with a license.
It is also worth noting making a car insurance claim when you’re found to be not at fault can have an impact on your premium even if your no claims discount rating isn’t affected. In addition, making a claim when you’re found to be at fault can impact both your premium and your no claims discount rating.
A ‘no claims discount’ is only one factor to consider if looking for a comprehensive car insurance policy and it is important to do your homework and consider all options before deciding on the best policy for your needs and circumstances.
Theft and no claims discounts
According to statistics released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS, 2016), car thefts have increased by 6% over the last year. While having your vehicle stolen is an inconvenience (as an understatement), there are a number of insurance providers who may uphold your no claims discount if you’ve experienced car theft (provided you have taken adequate steps to secure your vehicle).
No claims discount on hail or flood cover
According to the RACQ, hail damage on a vehicle can exceed $5,000 to repair. Following the often dramatic weather events around Australia, hail and flood damage is not uncommon particularly if you live somewhere prone to rain and heavy storms. Some insurers (in fact, all on our database) take this into consideration when processing a claim, and it won’t necessarily affect your no-claim bonus.
The table below displays a snapshot of comprehensive car insurance policies on our database that at the time of writing offer a no claim bonus that isn’t always impacted by hail and flood damage or theft claims. Please note the results are based on a 30-39 year old male who lives in New South Wales and does not require an extra driver under 25 (with link to provider’s website, ordered by Star Rating), so some products may not be available to you. Remember to read the PDS carefully to understand each insurer’s policy on their no claims bonus.
Windscreen replacement and no claims discounts
All it can take is a bumpy road, a rogue stone catapulted by a passing truck or a falling branch to crack a windscreen. Depending on your insurance policy, windscreen replacement is either included or an optional extra. Some people may not realise that some insurers will actually repair your windscreen without it affecting your no claim bonus.
The table below displays a snapshot of comprehensive car insurance policies on our database that at the time of writing may offer windscreen replacement without impacting a no claim bonus. Please note the results are based on a 30-39 year old male who lives in New South Wales and does not require an extra driver under 25 (ordered by Star Rating), so some products may not be available to you. Remember to read the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) carefully to understand each insurer’s policy on their no claims bonus policy.
Will my no claims discount be affected if I make a claim?
It will depend on who was deemed to have caused the accident, or in some cases if the accident was confirmed to be caused by bad weather. If it is decided you’re the at-fault driver and you need to make a claim on your policy, you will likely lose some or all of your no claims bonus when you renew your insurance.
If you can prove you weren’t at fault and your insurer is satisfied, your no claim bonus will not be affected. For most customers who are making a claim on window glass only, their no claims discount shouldn’t be affected.
Some policies offer No Claims Discount Protection, which allows customers to make a certain number of claims without impacting their bonus, for an extra fee. ASIC has advised consumers to be wary, finding in some cases the cost of buying this form of protection was higher than the benefit received by maintaining their no claims discount rating.
Will I still have my no claims bonus if I change cars/policies?
If you stay with the same insurance provider but switch cars, you can usually transfer your no claim discount along with your policy. If you switch insurance providers, it is at their discretion whether they maintain your no claims discount, with some requesting evidence such as a renewal certificate from your current insurer which states your no claim bonus rating.
Check with your insurance provider if you are unsure.
List of insurers who offer no claim bonuses
|1st For Women||AAMI|
|Australian Unity||Bendigo Bank|
|BOQ (Bank of Queensland)||Budget Direct|
|HBF||Latitude Financial Services|
|ibuyeco||National Seniors Insurance|
|NRMA||People’s Choice Credit Union|