→ Related: How do no claims discounts work?
When a car insurance provider sells you a policy with a tasty discount on the premium on the understanding that you’ve not made any claims for ‘x’ amount of years, it’s understandable that they’ll want you to prove it somehow – otherwise we’d all just say we had pristine driving records.
At MoneySuperMarket, we recommend drivers not to renew automatically every year with the same firm but to check whether it’s worth switching provider. This is usually the case, as insurers tend to reserve their best prices for new customers rather than existing ones.
It’s common, as and when you switch, for your new insurer to ask for proof of no claims discount. The problem is, you’ll most likely have to get that proof from your last insurer, and each company handles this process differently.
One company might include your proof of no claims in your renewal or cancellation letter, another might send a specific proof of no claims discount letter, while a third company might only send proof if you request it.
We’re putting together a big guidance sheet on how to get your proof of no claims discount from every insurer on MoneySupermarket.com, which will be developed over time. Follow the link below to see it:
Insurer name How do former customers get proof of no claims discount from you? Do you automatically send proof of NCD to existing customers at renewal? 1st Central Annual renewal letter serves as proof of no claims discount. Alternatively, call 0843 208 4000. Yes Saga Call 0845 900 8009 for standard proof of no claims discount letter. No Quote me Happy Annual renewal letter serves as proof of no claims discount. If you don’t have one, log on to your account here. Yes HSBC Call 0800 072 0581or visit the Self Service Centre online. No M&S Standard
Call 0844 871 2349 for NCD entitlement or visit the Self-Service Centre online. No M&S Premier Call 0844 871 2349 for NCD entitlement or visit the Self-Service Centre online. No INSURE THE BOX Renewal invitation pack includes specific proof of NCD. Yes Drive like A Girl Renewal invitation pack includes specific proof of NCD. Yes Santander Renewal notice confirms NCD entitlement. Can also be sent by post or email. Yes Direct Choice Call 0844 836 0001 or firstname.lastname@example.org. No Swiftcover Print off renewal or request ‘Proof of Bonus’ from your ‘Swift Space’ – or fill in this form. Yes Churchill Renewal notice or cancellation schedule serves as proof of no claims discount. Yes Direct Line Renewal notice or cancellation schedule serves as proof of no claims discount. Yes Sheila’s Wheels Sent if requested by the customer once policy is cancelled. Yes Hastings Direct Most recent renewal invite is proof of no claims. If you do not have this, contact 0844 800 3844 or request proof of no claims discount here. No esure Sent if requested by the customer once policy is cancelled. Yes Privilege Renewal invite serves as proof of no claims discount. If you don’t have one, call 0800 051 6990 No Endsleigh Request it by emailing:Customer.email@example.com Yes Swinton Proof of no claims discount is included in a renewal invite pack sent out to existing customers 17 days before renewal date Yes More Th>n All customers receive details of their NCD in their renewal schedule Yes Tesco Bank Renewal notice serves as proof of no claims discount. Yes Pink Proof of NCD is sent automatically. Yes
But then once you’ve got your proof of no claims discount in hand – whether that’s a letter, in an email or a PDF – there are stringent rules about getting it to your new insurer which, if broken, can leave you out of pocket or worse, uninsured.
To make sure you’re not caught out, here’s a look at some of the things to watch out for when you change car insurance providers and have to provide proof of no claims discount.
1. Your annual renewal letter may serve as proof of no claims discount, so hang on to it. Saga, Santander and HSBC, to name but a few, say their renewal letters should suffice as proof.
2. Not all insurers will automatically send you proof of no claims discount. Check our table to see if yours does, and what you need to do if they don’t.
3. There is usually a time limit on getting your proof of no claims discount to the new insurer. This tends to range from around 7 to 21 days.
4. If you don’t provide proof of no claims within the time limit, your new policy could be cancelled, leaving you uninsured, or your premiums could be increased as if you didn’t have a no claims discount.
5. Some insurers will not accept a photocopy of your proof of no claims discount letter, and will ask that you send the original. If this is the case, be sure to make a photocopy for yourself.
6. Most insurers only recognise no claims discount up to a certain point. For example, the greatest discount HSBC and M&S will recognise is nine years. Insurers also have different maximum percentages, usually 70% or 75%.
7. Your new insurer may contact your old insurer to get the proof of no claims discount itself, but it will tell you if it intends to do so.
8. It’s also worth a follow-up call if you’ve not heard anything a week after you’ve sent the proof of no claims discount. The insurer should send you some kind of letter or email to confirm receipt, but don’t assume they’ve received it because you could be driving around uninsured.
A real-life example
As a real-life example of how easy it is to get tripped up by all of this, MoneySuperMarket employee Hannah Jones found herself unwittingly driving around without any car insurance after sending off proof of her no claims discount.
Hannah switched to Sheila’s Wheels and was told to send proof of no claims discount within 14 days, which she did.
To Hannah’s surprise, she received a letter from Sheila’s Wheels saying the policy had been cancelled because they hadn’t received the proof. This was two weeks after it was sent, and the letter was backdated by a week.
Making matters worse, when Hannah called Sheila’s Wheels to explain it had already been sent, she was told that they would contact her previous insurer and that they didn’t really need the paperwork!
Though Hannah was able to explains matters and correct the situation, at first she faced a cancellation fee and higher premiums if she still wanted insurance with the company.
Clearly, even if you receive and send your proof of no claims discount, things could still go wrong, so it’s worth checking if you’ve heard nothing back.
Here’s how to complain
If you have a grievance with an insurance company, you need to complain to them, so get in touch as ask for details of their official complaints procedure. Always keep a note of the time and date of your call, and ask for the name of the person to whom you speak. Store any emails you send and any replies you get.
The rules give the insurance company eight weeks to look into your complaint and respond fully.
If you wish, the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) – which is free to use – will contact the insurer and tell them about your complaint. Full details of this service here.
If you’ve complained to an insurance company and don’t feel you’ve been treated fairly, give the FOS a call: 0300 123 9 123 or 0800 023 4567. They will review the case and, if appropriate, take up the matter on your behalf.
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