Car accidents are stressful events that often come with significant financial implications. One of the key factors affecting the financial aspect of a car accident in the UK is the insurance excess. This term refers to the amount a policyholder must contribute when making a claim on their car insurance. Grasping when this payment is required can assist in managing the aftermath of an accident. We are often asked the question “When do you pay excess on car insurance?”
Insurance excess comes in two types: compulsory and voluntary. Compulsory excess is a fixed amount determined by the insurance company, which the policyholder must pay for any claim. Meanwhile, voluntary excess is chosen by the policyholder at the outset of the policy. A higher voluntary excess can lower the premium, but it also means a higher contribution when a claim arises.
Excess payments are typically required when a policyholder is involved in an accident where they’re at fault, or the responsible party cannot be identified. For instance, if a driver accidentally collides with a stationary object, or is a victim of a hit-and-run, they’ll need to pay the excess when claiming for the damage.
Conversely, if another driver is at fault and their insurer accepts liability, the policyholder usually doesn’t pay their excess. The at-fault driver’s insurance should cover the claim’s cost. If an excess has been paid initially but it’s later established that the policyholder wasn’t at fault, they should be reimbursed.
Additionally, some policies include a ‘windscreen excess’ for claims related to windscreen damage, typically lower than the standard policy excess. If a windscreen is damaged in an accident, this lower excess may apply.
An essential point to note is that paying an excess doesn’t automatically mean a loss of the no-claims bonus. This bonus is generally affected if the insurance company makes a payout, which might not be the case if you were not at fault in the accident (also called a “non-fault accident”).
The question of when do you pay excess on car insurance depends on several factors. If the accident was not your fault not only can we claim more than likely claim your excess back from the other person’s insurance, but we can also provide you with a like-for-like car similar to yours while we handle your claim on your behalf and take away the stress.