It is a legal requirement that you have car insurance in place unless your car is declared SORN (Statutory Off Road Notification) and is kept off the public road system. However, if you are involved in a road traffic accident then there are some occasions when it is possibly not worth claiming on your motor insurance policy.
Obviously, if you were involved in an accident resulting in many thousands of pounds worth of damage being caused to your car and that of another motorist then you will no doubt wish to claim on your policy. However, if it is a minor accident that perhaps costs say £150 to have the vehicle repaired and you have an excess of say £200 on your policy then there would be no point in claiming on the policy as you would be responsible for the full repair costs due to the amount of the excess.
There will be some motorists who are involved in a road traffic accident that have an excess of £200 on their policy and the repair costs amount to say £250 who will not bother to make a claim as they feel it is just not worth the effort to save £50.
Another consideration is the impact claiming on your car insurance policy may have on your premium. If you do make a claim then it is possible that your premium may increase with the amount of the increase depending upon a number of factors such as the sort of incident that caused the accident.
For instance, Which? recently carried out some research that revealed if a motorist was involved in an accident with another vehicle and it was the fault of the policyholder then their premium rose by 23% over 3 years. If the parked car of a policyholder was damaged by a third party who cannot be traced then the policyholder’s premium rose by 14% over three years. If another driver were to collide with the car of a policyholder resulting in some minor personal injury and damage then their premium rose by 9% over 3 years.
Making a claim could also impact upon a motorist’s no-claims discount.
Do remember that if you are involved in a road traffic accident then you should notify your insurer even if you do not intend to claim on the policy. One of the reasons why you should do this, apart from the fact that you would be breaching the policy’s terms and conditions if you did not, is that there is nothing to say that the other motorist involved in the accident may decide at some future date to sue you for say loss of earnings if he or she has been unable to work for a period of time after the accident.