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The recent case of a joiner from Greater Manchester has highlighted the importance of notifying your any driver van insurance company of all accidents involving your vehicle – no matter how small or large – even if you do not intend to make a claim.

The incident involved the man sustaining damage to his Volkswagen Passat van as a result of driving over a pothole last November. He paid the repair bill himself and then sought to claim back the £83.85 repair fee from his local authority.

However, on later seeking to renew his van insurance policy with his insurer, he was told that the policy would cost 20 per cent more than previously and that this was because his local authority had contacted the company to notify them of the pothole accident.

“I’ve never claimed in my life but because the council has rung up my insurance, I’m being penalised for somebody else’s actions,” said the 36-year-old joiner.

He later found out that his accident had been logged on the Claims Underwriting Exchange (CUE) as part of an official notification incident.

A spokesperson from his insurance company confirmed, “We notify customers that claims data will be shared in this way when they sign up to a policy with us.”

However, the insurer has decided to waive the increase as a gesture of goodwill, although the accident will remain on file for a further four years, potentially affecting the cost of the joiner’s van insurance premiums in the future.

Furthermore, the man says that he is considering legal action against the council; he said that he did not tick the box on the local authority form permitting them to share information of the accident with his insurer.

Notifying your insurer

Some people try to preserve their no-claims discount by not notifying their insurers of an accident. However, it is the condition of all motor insurance policies that the policyholder informs their insurer of any accident they are involved in and that they do so within a reasonable time – to be on the safe side it is best to do this as soon as possible.

If you do not inform your insurer, they are entitled to cancel your policy and may refuse to provide you with cover in the future. Furthermore, if you have had a cancelled policy, alternative insurers also refuse to provide you with cover.

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