Effect of accidents on renewal

erasmus666
erasmus666 Posts: 14
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I need advice please how to deal with the following. My car insurance is due 14th February 2024. I had an accident 8th February 2019. The insurer takes account of accidents within the last five years. This should mean that the accident shouldn't be considered as at the time the new insurance starts it'll be more than five years old. However, the insurance company has just told me that it WILL be considered because the new premium is prepared on the basis of the accidents with an age of less than five years at the date the renewal is calculated (mid January) and not when cover is due to start ( mid February). This doesn't seem right. I'd appreciate your thoughts on this. Many thanks. 

Comments

  • Aretnap
    Aretnap Posts: 5,140
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    It feels slightly wrong, but I'm not aware of any legal or regulatory principle which makes it definitively wrong. Unlike convictions, claims are not subject to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act so there is no legal limit on how long insurers can take them into consideration for (and even for convictions the ROA applies at the moment the question about convictions is asked, rather than the moment the policy incepts).

    Similarly the question "have you had any claims in the last X years" is ambiguous as to whether it means within X years of now or within X years of the day the policy incepts. Arguably if the insurer didn't clarify what it meant you would be within your rights to interpret it in the latter way, though I'm not sure that I would want to stake the risk of a cancelled policy on that argument.

    Certainly though there is nothing to stop you getting new quotes on 9th February and confidently declaring no accidents in the last 5 years. If that means you get a cheaper policy than the renewal your insurer is offering, it's their loss.
  • TooManyPoints
    TooManyPoints Posts: 1,228
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    Just take your business elsewhere. Buy a new policy after 8th February, to begin on 14th and when asked if you have had any accidents in the past five years simply (and honestly) reply "no". If their pricing machine cannot take proper account of dates they do not deserve your business.
  • born_again
    born_again Posts: 13,684
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    Wait till the 9 Feb & run a quote then.


    Life in the slow lane
  • Arunmor
    Arunmor Posts: 76
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    In my view any conditions are only valid at the commencement of the contract.  

    What is your NCD position?  Was it protected and/or have you been accumulating a new NCD since the accident?  If so they will have added this current year to your letter, they can't have it both ways.  

    But best thing to do is shop around in a few weeks time and the point may become moot.
  • DullGreyGuy
    DullGreyGuy Posts: 9,184
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    However, the insurance company has just told me that it WILL be considered because the new premium is prepared on the basis of the accidents with an age of less than five years at the date the renewal is calculated (mid January) and not when cover is due to start ( mid February). 
    Presumably by "the insurance company" you mean a contact centre agent who may work for the insurer, the broker or an outsourcer depending on which company you are talking to?

    The reality is that they will have no idea how the rating engine works... they plug numbers into a system not very dissimilar to what you do when you go to their website and just like their website they are simply presented with some prices with no indication as to why its £500 for you but was £15,000 for the last customer. 

    The reality is the impact of a claim gets less over time so if its 60 months, 59 months or 61 months ago its unlikely to make a world of difference. If you are talking about your renewal notice then in principle they may know many more things about you than they would a brand new customer and so could take extra things into consideration like old claims that a new customer wouldn't have to declare any more (they cannot use old convictions that are spent is the one exception).

    Most people have terrible memories, if you look at the likes of Direct Line they only ask for the month and year of a claim so wouldn't distinguish where in the month a claim happened relative to renewal for a new customer as they don't ask for the day. 
  • erasmus666
    erasmus666 Posts: 14
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    edited 3 January at 3:51PM
    Thanks for all your comments. I've got 12 years protected NCD. When I finally got to speak to a human being and not a digital assistant I did mention that I would apply for insurance on 9th February as one of you has suggested. I got the impression that she couldn't be bothered what I do so I'll apply to another company just before renewal. If they send me a message saying how they're sad to see me going (read  'my money' not 'me') I'll just ignore it. The message will have probably come from some digital person anyway. That's all insurance companies seem to employ nowadays.
  • 400ixl
    400ixl Posts: 2,651
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    You want to get your first set of quotes around the 21 days out mark. I would agree with the general consensus that you answer the questions as if the day is the date the policy starts.
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