I have insured my bike through a well-known insurance company for the last four years and am now changing insurer.
When I took out my original policy with the company I am about to leave, they did not ask for proof of existing no-claims discount and now I am changing insurer, they are only acknowledging the four years of no-claims discount which I got when with them.
They have said that as they have never seen proof of my 15 years-plus no-claims discount, they are not prepared to sign it off. I was told that they would only provide me with a confirmation of four years, unless I was willing to pay a fee to get proof of my previous entitlement, is this fair and should I pay the fee?
Your company has already said that it will certify the four years that it knows you have entitlement to, I think it is right, however, not to certify the previous years. The company has said that it can check this for you but it will incur a fee. It is up to you if you are prepared to pay that fee.
There are numerous claims databases, and insurers have access to all of them. I, as a solicitor, have access to some of them, but they are stringently policed.
For example, I can look to see which insurer provided cover for a car, by registration number. If I am instructed to bring a claim against the driver of that car but I could not use it to check who insured your bike. An insurer who has a proper interest in doing that could see who was insuring you for the past 15 years and they could write or email and get such proof of no-claims discount entitlement as your previous insurers were willing to give. However, this is work for them, you are leaving them, and they do not have to do it. Had you had a claim, they would have checked, and if there had not been 15 years no-claims discount, they would have rejected it.
Your options are either to pay your Insurer for a service that you need, or if you can recall your previous insurer, see if they will provide you with proof of no-claims discount until you were Insured by your current provider. However, if they have already provided this to you, they do not have to do it again, if you draw a blank, and you cannot prove your no-claims discount entitlement. It will be used on the basis on the four years that you can prove. The take-away from this is do not be casual about paperwork that you get from Insurers. When a claim is made, you will have to prove the basis of your proposal. Things have become easier following a wholesale change to Insurance law in 2012 but you would be wise to keep proof of no-claims discount.
Also do remember that if, for example, you take your bike off the road for as little as a year, this can wipe out your no-claims discount entitlement. Most Insurers will not recognise a discount if you have not used it for two years, but whether or not an Insurer recognises no-claims discount entitlement Is a commercial decision for that insurer. You need to remember that a contract of Insurance Is a commercial contract and an Insurer does not have to Insure you if they do not fancy the risk, nor do they have to trail through your own policies, with other insurers, to prove your no-claims discount entitlement if you cannot.
RiDE Magazine June 2019