Claim-free years and your car insurance

Claim-free years are accrued from the moment you have a car insurance in your name. What are claim-free years? And what do they have to do with your care insurance? 

What are claim-free years?

Claim-free years are the years in which you have not claimed any damage. For every year you do not claim damage, you earn one claim-free year. If you do claim damage, you lose your claim-free years. The more claim-free years you have, the more premium discount you get.

Accruing or losing claim-free years

For every claim-free year, you climb on the bonus-malus ladder and get more premium discount. The bonus-malus ladder is a table that says how much premium discount you get with a certain number of claim-free years. This table differs per insurer. 

Did you cause damage or are you unable to recover it from someone else? Then you drop on the bonus-malus ladder. Note: sometimes you drop fewer steps on the bonus-malus ladder with your current insurer than the amount of claim-free years you lose in Roy data. Do you want to know how many steps you will drop? Then inquire with your current car insurer. Despite starting with more claim-free years with a new insurer, it may still be worth it to switch. You can easily compare car insurances for this. 

Have you only been insured for a few years? Then you will have a negative number of claim-free years if you claim damage. In insurance terms, that is called a malus situation. 

‘’Do you want to know how many claim-free years you have accrued? Then calculate your claim-free years. This way, you immediately get an indication of this number of claim-free years.’’

- Rianne, car insurance expert

Requesting claim-free years

When comparing car insurances, it is convenient to know how many claim-free years you have. How do you find out?  

  • Roy data

Roy data is a national database in which insurers of all car owners track their claim-free years. The system applies to cars, delivery vans, campers, motorcycles and mopeds. You can request your claim-free years from the Roy data. When you switch insurances, your new insurer can request your claim-free years here. 

  •  Cancellation statement 

Have you accrued claim-free years abroad? Then the insurer will ask the foreign insurer for a cancellation statement. You receive this statement when cancelling your car insurance. 

  •  ​Lease statement 

Did you have a lease car? Then you will receive a lease statement at the end of the lease contract. This states how long you drove the lease car and how many/what damages were claimed. The insurer then determines how many claim-free years are awarded.  ​

  • Employer statement 

Did you have a company car? And were you the only driver? Then ask whether your employer or the insurer accepts an employer statement for awarding claim-free years. 

Claim-free years: from moped or scooter to car insurance?

Most insurers do not offer transferring the claim-free years of your moped or scooter insurance to your car insurance. This is because driving a scooter or moped is considered to be a different risk than driving a car or motorcycle. Ask your car insurer for the possibilities. 

Claim-free years: from car to moped or scooter insurance?

In almost all cases, we do not recommend transferring the claim-free years from your car insurance to a scooter insurance. After all, conversely, from moped or scooter insurance to car insurance, is often not possible. This means you would lose your claim-free years when you want to go back to a car insurance. 

Taking your claim-free years to your scooter or moped insurance is only sensible if you are sure you will never drive a car again.

No car insurance for a longer time? Claim-free years gone

Many car insurers apply a three-year validity period for claim-free years. Have you not had a car insurance in your name for three years? Then you lose your previously accrued claim-free years. And, in the process, your premium discount.

Until 2015, with many insurers, you would lose your claim-free years after just one year. At Independer, we found this system unfair and started a claim-free years campaign. And we were successful, because with most insurers, your claim-free years are now valid for three years.

Frequently asked questions about claim-free years

Can I take over claim-free years from someone else?  

If you transfer your car to someone else’s name, you can also transfer your claim-free years. This is possible with (ex) partners or if you transfer a company car to your name as a private individual. 

Second car: can I use my claim-free years?  

No, you cannot transfer your claim-free years to a second car. However, with many insurers, you can opt for the second car scheme. This allows you to get a discount on your second car insurance based on the accrued claim-free years of your first car insurance.

I have accrued claim-free years abroad. Can I transfer them?  

Have you accrued claim-free years abroad and do you want to take them to the Netherlands? Then that is possible in most cases. Do you want to know how? Find out here. 

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