When Is It Better to Claim through Insurance?

Hey Everyone,

Ran into a bit of bad luck/stupidity whilst in Sydney last weekend, was in the middle of the downpour on a very steep hillstart, car behind was closer than I expected and the towbar nudge his bumper causing damage to it, nothing major but my car damaged his so I'm on the hook to pay for it to be fixed.

The quote comes to around $1300 for the repair (normal), and I have full comp through NRMA with the full no claim bonus. My question, is it worth making the claim ($500 excess) and loosing the no claim bonus (do they have much effect on my premiums) or finding the extra $800 and going cash? I haven't had any experience making/recieving insurance claims and as such have no information to go off!




  • Ask your insurer how it will affect your no claim. Sometimes they will allow you to stay on maximum no claim if you've been there for a while. A while back my wife swiped our car on the front of another parked car while parking. Our excess was $1k, but it was better for us to pay the excess, didn't lose any no claim, and we got our car repaired at the same time.

    In your case $800 out of pocket might be too much and you'd be better to claim. If it was our insurance the $1k excess would mean it would probably be better to pay the $1300 than mess up our insurance rating for the sake of $300 out of pocket.

  • How much is your annual premium?

    I would say that the amounts you've got there, it's almost borderline on whether it's worth claiming or not.

    I've seen premiums go up (significantly) the following year after an at-fault claim even though the so-called full no-claim bonus is kept. When pushed for an explanation, they quote the same bs about "increasing costs", etc.

    So sure - in theory, you still get the "60% no claim bonus", but it's discounted off a larger "base" amount - so the amount you end up paying is still higher than you would have.

    And that point you have another problem - if you try to change insurers because of a higher premium, the first question they'll ask is "Have you made any claims within the last X number of years?". If you tick yes, then your premium with the new company will increase.

    Go onto a few insurer's websites and do two quotes each for your own personal circumstances - one with no claim and another with one claim. That should give you a rough estimate of how much your premium could increase each year because of this one incident.

    They tend to ask for incidents within the last 5 years, so if the difference in the quotes, mulitpled by 5 is much less than the $800 (which is the difference between the excess you pay and the amount you'll need to pay to fix the damage), then you can probably make the claim. If it's more than the $800, then you're better off just fixing the damage out of your own pocket.

  • Get another quote. A small bumper repair would be in the range of $300-600. And you would be better off paying for it. Unless it was not a little nudge…