Does a pending insurance claim mean I will pay higher premiums?

admin
11 April 2013

Q

Last October i wrote my car off after hitting a lamp post. The car was covered by third-party, fire and theft insurance, which I was paying for monthly. The council and the police attended the accident, but no charges were made. I am still paying for the insurance, despite not having the car any more. I have rung the council to see if or when it will make a claim against me for the lamp post but it says it has no record of the event and will investigate but I haven't heard anything. Can you help me find out if there is a legal limit on the time the council has to make a claim? In the meantime, I am still having to pay to insure a car I no longer have and the insurer says cancelling the policy, which is due to run until September, will cost me £600. Is the insurer allowed to do this? I have now bought a van and have insured it through a different provider but I'm being charged higher premiums because I have a claim pending. Can I be penalised when no claim is currently being made?
From
DB/Yorkshire

A

There is a six-year statute of limitations for property damage. However, I would not advise you to approach the council again in case it invites a claim against you.

As for the cancellation fee for the written-off car, it is normal practice that you will have to pay the full outstanding premium if you have a fault claim.

And when it comes to your van insurance, unfortunately, the claim hanging over you is relevant. Insurance uses a system of risk-based pricing as property damage was caused. Although the claims process is taking some time, the damage is still a material fact relevant when an underwriter considers your premium.

So, unfortunately, all I can advise you to do at this point is to sit tight and any time you look for a new insurance policy, make sure to shop around for the cheapest premiums you can find.