No Claims Bonus: Save on Your Insurance

No claims bonus (NCB) is one of the best ways to save on your insurance. You can save up to 30% off your premium with just one year of no claims.

If you drive claim-free for some years, the discount could reach as much as 75%.

What Is A No Claims Bonus?

You can start accumulating NCB for every year that you have insurance without making a claim. The key here is driving defensively – what matters is whether or not you make a claim, and not whether it was your fault or not.

Example 1:

It’s a sunny day, and you are driving on a highway when suddenly an uninsured driver hit your car. Given that it is not your fault and you made a claim, because of this, you may not be earning an NCB for that year. In addition, your existing NCBs will get a step back, and in some cases, go back to zero.

Example 2:

You were sleeping in the middle of the night, and your car is parked in the streets of New York City. Upon waking up, you discovered that your car had been stolen and you made a claim, your NCB, therefore, could be lost.

How Do I Earn A No Claims Bonus?

Car, van, commercial vehicle, tractor and on all types of insurances like third-party, fully comprehensive, and third-party, fire, and theft will earn you NCB.

SEE ALSO: Van Insurance: Everything You Need to Know

Depending on your insurer, you can earn an NCB for up to nine years. Although for most insurers, they will only allow you to earn for up to five consecutive years.

How Much Can I Save From An NCB?

Insurers will reduce your premiums by a set percentage that is determined by the number of years you are driving claim-free. Discounts vary greatly from one insurer to another, but the average discount scale is usually:

YearsReduction
110%
220%
330%
440%
550%
655%

There are other ways to reduce the costs of your car insurance policy; you can read our guide, 10 Easy Ways to Reduce the Costs of Your Car Insurance for more information.

How Can I Protect My No Claims Bonus?

Some insurance companies offer opportunities to preserve your bonus. A car insurer may be able to redeem all costs from another insurer where a claim is not your mistake. In this case, you wouldn’t lose any claims discount. It is best to talk to your chosen insurer about their policy as this can vary greatly.

In most cases, if you do not have a policy in your name for two years, your No Claims Bonus will disappear.

Can I Use My NCB On Another Vehicle?

Yes, you can. In the insurance industry, they call it “Mirrored No Claims Discount,” it is used by a person who has earned a bonus on a car policy and decided to buy another vehicle. To get a discount on his insurance, that person can then “mirror” their accumulated NCB to the vehicle he just bought.

Can Named Drivers Earn A No Claims Discount?

With a standard car insurance policy, named drivers do not earn their own No Claims Discount. However, some companies will allow them to earn an NCB. This is brilliant if the named driver wants to go on with their own car insurance policy later on.

Why Should I Buy An ASU Policy?

It can be a pretty tough time when you’re out of work; money worries are likely to creep in as you try and figure out how far your savings can take you in the absence of any income.

To help ease the burden when you are unemployed, it’s important to make sure you are protected against the unexpected to ensure that you and your family are covered.

And this is where Accident, Sickness and Unemployment (ASU) insurance can help, providing an extra level of protection in the event of loss of income as a result of one of those circumstances.

What Is ASU Insurance?

ASU stands for Accident, Sickness and Unemployment, and is an insurance that helps to protect you should you be affected by any of the following:

  • You become injured, and as a result are unable to work
  • You become ill, and as a result are not able to work
  • You lose your job through no fault of your own and are unable to provide

ASU insurance is essentially a ‘just in case’ insurance, providing protection if you are concerned as to whether you’d be able to cope if you were to fall ill or lose your job suddenly and be unable to provide for yourself and your family.

Who Chooses How Much I Receive?

ASU insurance essentially covers you for the sum of your monthly outgoings such as utilities and also your mortgage costs. A sum is worked out – usually about 60-65% of this total – and even though you are able to set the amount yourself, the percentage is unlikely to change.

Remember as well that, in the event of a payout, this will usually take a month to process, so don’t expect it to be an immediate payment.

How Long Can I Set A Policy For?

ASU policies are designed to be short-term solutions, so you are only able to claim for a maximum period of between 12 and 24 months.

While they can be useful to set up for the short term, there are a few rules about setting up a policy, and providers are quite strict in which circumstances they pay out, this is to avoid the risk of insurance fraud.

What Exceptions Are There?

Insurance providers may not offer you ASU insurance cover in the following circumstances:

  • You take out a policy in the knowledge that you are soon to be made redundant or sacked
  • You have existing medical afflictions such as backache or conditions such as stress
  • You are self-employed
  • You have worked at your current company for six months or less
  • You are over-65

Providers are very strict in who they cover, so those who want to take out cover in anticipation of a redundancy or loss of employment are not likely to be able to get covered.

Check with each broker about any exclusions they might apply with regards to your claim, as these can differ from company to company.

Why Should I Get A Policy?

ASU policies can help provide extra peace of mind in the event of unexpected circumstances; this could be seen as an excellent short-term policy to take if you have not much in the way of outgoings or significant debts.

Many of us will worry about what may happen as a result of ourselves or another breadwinner being out of work as a result of unexpected circumstances.

Taking out some form of policy such as ASU insurance on a short-term basis can be a good investment as it can help take a weight off your mind, much like with policies such as life insurance.

Do Your Research

There are a number of brokers who offer ASU insurance, and when searching for a policy, it’s best to get quotes from a few of them, many will allow you to cover with monthly payments.

Brokers may differ on the period between a claim being made and the payout date, it can usually take a month for such claims to clear but it’s always best to double check with multiple providers to find out if yours will vary.

Remember as well that ASU policies are very time sensitive, both at their inception and towards the end of your cover, so double-checking the details of your policy is always a good idea.

Who Needs A Public Liability Insurance?

If you own a business, protection is paramount, and we’re not just talking about the locks on the doors or the security system you use for surveillance. People will need to be protected as well, both the staff you employ and the customers who come through the door and keep your business, in business.

What is Public Liability Insurance?

Public liability insurance helps protect your business against claims brought against it by third parties. This can involve those who have suffered personal injury or damage to their property due to your neglect or as a result of a mishap on your premises – usually a slip, trip or fall – which can be costly to your business if you’ve not taken precautions.

Who can bring a claim against me?

Customers who have suffered an injury while on your premises, either due to a mistake by one of your staff or as a result of a trip or fall caused by a wet or poorly maintained floor.

Another example could be if a visitor to your site; a salesperson or contractor we’ll say, suffers injury or damage to property due to a trip caused by loose wires or cracks on the floor, which then leads to damage to their person or to the equipment they might be carrying.

In these cases, public liability insurance can help protect your business against costly claims. Depending on the incident, you’re likely to be chased for compensation to cover medical costs or damage to equipment, so it’s worth making sure you are covered.

What protection does it offer?

Public liability insurance will provide cover for a range of different costs brought forward as a result of claims, these can include:

  • Legal expenses
  • Costs of repairs as a result of flood damage caused by your negligence – for example causing damage to a clients’ property or possessions as a result of a mistake during your duties, which may lead to water damage.
  • Costs of compensation brought against you by a third-party for injuries sustained or for damage to property. This can cover your premises, a customer site, or many others.
  • Hospital treatment costs brought against you by the NHS to provide treatment.
  • Other expenses that are deemed reasonable to claim

Is there anything that’s not covered by the policy?

Public liability insurance does not offer the insurer any personal protection, against damage to their own property nor any claims brought against them by their staff members Such claims will be covered by employers liability insurance and general business insurance policies.

Does my business need it?

Public liability insurance is not a legal requirement for your business, unlike employers’ liability insurance, which offers protection against claims brought against you by staff members who may become ill or injure themselves while working for you.

No matter what your business, if your work involves members of the public – whether it’s providing a service or simply performing at an event – public liability insurance can be useful since it would protect you should anything happen during your period of business.

In some cases, it is better to over-insure your business to further protect yourself against future incidents than to leave yourself short in the event of multiple claims.

RELATED: Why Do I Need Public Liability Insurance?

How much will it cost me to cover my business?

There is a wide network of brokers who offer public liability insurance policies of varying degrees of cover to suit your business. Talk to your insurer and discuss in detail what type of cover you want for your business.

All these insurances, which one does my business need?

It can be worth having all three of the insurances mentioned in this guide against your business to ensure all your bases are covered in the event of a claim. Be aware that, while your policy may come down depending on how high an excess you want to set, you must ensure you can cover the cost of the excess should you need to claim.

Our Tips:

  • Public liability insurance covers you against claims made by third- parties.
  • Unlike employers’ liability insurance, public liability insurance is not a legal requirement.
  • You decide how much excess to put against a policy, setting it higher could mean a cheaper premium.

Insuring Fleets: Haulage

Photo By: Texas Federal State Property Office

Haulage firms specialise in the transit and delivery of larger products, or larger quantities of products to and from factories, manufacturing plants and even supermarket warehouses.

Haulage firms are made up almost exclusively of Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs); vehicles which are over 3.5 tonnes in weight, although some businesses may also make use of vans for smaller deliveries, known as Light Goods Vehicles (LGVs).

What Vehicles Can I Cover On My Policy?

Haulage fleet insurance will help you to cover a number of HGVs in your fleet under a single policy, as opposed to insuring each truck individually, which could prove to be quite expensive in the long run.

Haulage insurance can be used to cover a wide range of different lorry types; including articulated, refrigerated, flatbed and tipper. So whether you have a mixed fleet or only use a single type of truck to deliver goods, insuring them all under one policy can help save you money in the long term.

If you have a fleet which is comprised of a mixture of vehicles, it can be worth looking into grouping these onto their own fleet policies, such as courier fleet insurance and van fleet insurance in order to save yourself some money by insuring them all under one policy rather than individually.

What Will Be Covered By A Haulage Policy?

Haulage policies will help cover you against damages as a result of an accident caused by a third party, as well as protection from theft – both for the vehicle and for your customers’ goods.

Much like a regular car insurance policy, there will be differing levels of cover on HGV insurance – from third-party only to fully comprehensive. Third-party covers the driver only whilst fully comprehensive gives a more balanced cover, and is recommended for fleets as it covers all bases.

There are a wide variety of insurers out there who offer haulage fleet insurance, it can be worth comparing prices to see what suits your business needs.

What Extras Can I Get?

Insurers will offer additional extras as part of your policy, which depending on your line of work and the goods you carry can be handy to have in addition to your basic cover, here are a few things you should look out for when searching for a policy:

  • Goods In Transit cover

Goods In Transit cover is an essential part of your cover, as this covers your customers’ goods against theft, loss or damage sustained in an accident while in transit.

However, depending on the type of load you are carrying you might find this cover difficult to get, as products such as hazardous materials may not be covered by your insurer, ask your broker if you are unsure and be as honest as you can about the goods you carry.

  • Public Liability cover

Public liability cover helps to protect members of the public against damage to property or injury sustained because of a mistake by one of your drivers, which can include anything from property damage from scraping as a result of tight cornering to personal injury.

  • Employers’ liability cover

Employers’ liability cover helps in the payment of compensation should a worker sustain injury or illness while working for you, with many policies allowing you to insure up to a certain amount to cover all the vehicles in your fleet.

  • Windscreen cover

Windscreen cover, much like on a standard car insurance policy, will help to cover the cost of replacement windows on your HGVs in the event of damage – from involvement in an accident, chipping over time or even as a result of damage from wildlife such as flying birds.

  • Equipment cover

Equipment cover helps to cover the contents of your HGV which are involved with the security of your cargo or help to keep it secure during transit – including strapping, ropes, secure latches and security ties – and help to protect these against theft and damage.

  • Drivers’ belongings cover

On the other side of the coin is drivers’ belongings cover. HGV drivers usually spend a lot of time in their cabs and may have personal possessions contained within. Drivers’ belongings cover helps to protect these against theft or damage as a result of an accident, think of it as contents cover but on the road.

  • Breakdown cover

Breakdown cover is also available as an added extra and can prove handy for getting back on the road as quickly as possible following a breakdown, allowing your drivers to continue on with their journey with minimal time loss.

  • Courtesy vehicle

If the breakdown company are unable to fix the cab by the side of the road, some policies will include cover for a courtesy truck to help get you back on the road as quickly as possible following an incident.

Delivering Abroad

If your business takes you across the Channel and into Europe, you will need to get some European cover on your haulage insurance policy, as well as ensuring that your drivers have the correct paperwork and licences to drive their HGVs abroad.

Hazardous Goods

The type of goods you carry may affect your level of cover, especially if you carry hazardous materials such as chemicals. Depending on your cargo, some insurers may initially refuse you cover because of the risk factor, so it can be worth talking to several brokers when you are looking for cover as some may be more specialised and accommodating to your cargo.

Driver Diversity

When it comes to your staff force, age and experience can help to keep your premiums low. So while it might be difficult to insure younger drivers and new starters against your fleet insurance policy, providing your drivers have clean driving records and have accumulated some No Claims Bonus on your policy already you could find your haulage fleet insurance policy becoming cheaper.

Whichever business you are, haulier or courier, your vehicles will need insuring against third party damage and theft, that’s where a haulage fleet insurance policy comes in, and it is valuable to have.

Van Insurance: Everything You Need To Know

Vans are a common sight on the roads of the UK and are used for a variety of purposes – from transporting packages as part of a courier service, or allowing tradesmen to move themselves and their tools to their sites of work.

There are even those who collect older, more classic vans – including the iconic VW Westfalia campervan – restoring and showing them at special motor meets and trade shows.

Whether you use a van for work, own a fleet of vans as part of your business, or own a classic or vintage van for showing purposes, you’ll need to make sure your vehicle is covered with van insurance.

What Is Van Insurance?

Van insurance helps to cover your vehicle and yourself in the event of an accident or incident that damages your property. Van insurance is a legal requirement for anyone using vans for the purposes of business and personal interests – including showing vehicles.

If you have a fleet of vans as part of your business, it can be worth looking into taking out some fleet insurance and securing all your vehicles under one single policy. This could save you money by insuring them collectively rather than one-by-one. Not only could this save you money, but could also save on administration costs by reducing paperwork.

What Levels Of Cover Are Available?

Much like with a regular car insurance policy, there are multiple levels of cover available on a van insurance policy:

  • Third-party only  

The cheapest cover available, third-party only cover, helps to cover the costs incurred by a third-party – including passengers – as a result of an accident. While this level would cover the cost of the third party, you would be responsible for covering the cost of any repairs that are needed as a result of the accident.

  • Third party, fire and theft (TPFT)

TPFT cover helps to cover your vehicle against damage by third parties, fire damage and in the event of your vehicle being stolen.

  • Fully comprehensive

Fully comprehensive insurance covers everything that is on a TPFT policy, as well as additional extras such as medical cover, windscreen cover and personal effects cover

Some brokers may offer the chance to take out a policy which is ‘stripped down’, essentially removing some of the effects of a comprehensive policy, ask your broker if you’re unsure and if this flexibility will be available for your policy.

Age And Experience

Like with car insurance, age and experience can make a difference when it comes to insuring a vehicle. Younger drivers will have trouble finding a cheaper policy because of their driving experience, while older drivers who have many years experience can find a cheaper quote.

Whether you drive for a fleet or as a sole trader, building up some No Claims Bonus on your van by driving carefully to build up some NCB can save you money on your policy going forward.

Insuring Fleets

Depending on the size of your van fleet, looking at getting some van fleet insurance can be worth looking into. Fleet insurance policies allow you to insure multiple vehicles using a single policy, rather than insure each vehicle individually, which could work out cheaper for you in the long term.

RELATED: 10 Easy Ways to Reduce the Costs of Your Car Insurance

How Can I Reduce My Premium Price?

There are a number of ways you can help to reduce the price of your van insurance policy, some may take time but some can work in your favour immediately:

  • Build up some No Claims Bonus – through careful driving over a period of time you can accumulate some NCB and help to reduce your premiums by proving to an insurer that you are a careful driver.
  • Install additional security – invest in some additional security for your van, including wheel locks and alarms, in order to keep your van safe from thieves. Bear in mind where you leave the van at night, and try and use a secure location rather than in the open on the road if possible.
  • Consider your mileage – try and work out an approximate mileage per year for your usage, although this can be tricky if your business is countrywide and unpredictable. If you use a van for show purposes only, consider taking out a ‘limited mileage allowance’ on your policy which sets a mileage limit per year that could save money on your policy.
  • Cover your contents – look into putting an additional extra onto your policy that will help cover the cost of any tools and equipment that might be left in the van overnight, or consider taking your tools out of the van and into safe storage at night in order to make it less attractive to criminals.
  • Membership of a trade – some brokers may offer discounts if you are a member of a trade organisation; such as the Federation of Master Craftsman or NICEIC, so be sure to disclose this information whatever your trade is.