Insurance premiums for drivers have increased significantly over the last few years. Last year alone an insurance premium increased by an average of £110 according to a comparison site. Various reasons have been suggested for the increased cost to drivers, including the advancement of technology in cars and the rising cost of repairs. Individual premiums also rise as a result of being involved in an accident. One common misconception is that if an accident is not your fault, your no claims discount will not be affected.
It is often the case when a driver is involved in an accident, that the other driver accepts liability straight away. At other times, a court may have to decide who was at fault. Either way, you would assume that a non-fault claim wouldn’t affect your insurance premium. That, unfortunately, seems to no longer be the case.
Some insurance companies will increase your premium, even if you report an incident to them for information purposes only. It would appear that some insurers consider it appropriate to increase premiums after just one non-fault accident, and the justification for this seems to be that a driver involved in a non-fault accident is predisposed to be involved in another accident in future.
In fairness, not all insurance companies adopt a policy of punishing blameless drivers. However, studies have shown that you can be charged up to 50% more on your premium. What options does a driver have in such a situation? Shopping about for a new insurer is one option, but should a policyholder be put to the hassle and inconvenience as a result of someone else’s negligence?
An increase in premium could be included within court action for other losses, however proving that loss is not as simple as you may think. In determining the loss, a court would need to accept that the increase was only as a result of the accident, and not due to other contributing factors. Determining the amount is also not straight forward – we would need to prove the future loss attributable, and as we all know, premiums can be volatile at the best of times.
Insurers will argue that being in a non-fault accident could be a reflection of driving style or driving at accident black-spots justify raising the premium. It may be that the vehicle is parked overnight in a place more likely see theft or vandalism claims.
At Jackson Boyd, we have extensive experience of dealing with motor claims, and can assist with an assessment and recovery of losses you have suffered as a result of an accident. If you require any advice or assistance please contact us online by clicking here or speak to a member of our specialist team on 0333 222 1855.