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43% of drivers won’t claim following a crash

More than 40% of drivers in Ireland won’t make a claim to their motor insurance provider following a crash, the AA has learnt following a poll of over 7,500 motorists.

Among the main reasons cited by drivers for not claiming were a desire not to affect their no claims discount, fear that their premiums would sky rocket and a belief that the cost of the repairs were too low to make a claim financially viable.  A small handful of others simply admitted they didn’t want the hassle.

The AA does however report that the likelihood of making a claim increases dramatically in accordance with the severity of the crash.  19% of those polled by AA Motor Insurance indicated that they had had some sort of a collision while they themselves were driving over the past ten years and 37% of these admitted that they were entirely to blame.

Looking specifically at this group, just 40% of those involved in a minor collision submitted a claim, a figure which increased to 73% among those involved in a moderate to serious crash.

The AA does however advise at fault drivers to review their level of cover before deciding on whether a claim makes financial sense.  “Take a look at what your policy excess is; usually it’ll be about €300, look at how long you have been claims free and also check to see if you have full or partial no claims discount protection on your policy before you make up your mind.”  Advises Conor Faughnan, Director of Consumer Affairs, AA Ireland. “If you have full or partial bonus protection in place for example you can typically make one or two claims in a defined time period, usually three years, without your no claims bonus being impacted.”

The AA also explains that drivers who have full bonus protection in place have the peace of mind of knowing that they can make a claim for an unlimited amount and their no claims bonus will not be affected.  For those who have partial bonus protection in place, claims can be made up to a certain specified threshold before a drivers no claims discount is affected the AA explains.

“Another form of cover drivers may have is step-back no claims discount protection.” Says Faughnan “For these policyholders in the event of a claim they will see their no claims discount reduce by a predetermined number of years, usually two or three.  The idea is that the driver must “earn” back their no claims discount through claims free driving over the next couple of years to fully restore their discount.”