Drivers have been warned they could be invalidating their no claims protection without realising it.

Experts have issued a warning to motorists about the “big no no’s” that could break their no claims protection and eradicate any discount they’ve built up.

The warning comes as it was revealed car insurance premiums had risen by around £157 year-on-year in the first quarter of 2024.

The Association of British Insurers (ABI) revealed that the typical price paid in the first quarter of 2024 was £635, up from £478 in 2023.

And now CEO and car insurance expert Greg Wilson is warning drivers they could miss out on discounts once they hit nine years of no claims.

He said: “A no claims discount can be one of the biggest factors when it comes to the cost of a policy.

“However, many may be unaware of the simple things that can invalidate their protection. Without realising, certain changes to the policy, such as becoming a named driver instead of the main driver or having a gap of more than two years, say across the pandemic when they weren’t driving – could wipe clean the no claims build-up and void the insurance policy.

“The difference between 0 and 5 years no claims bonus can be significant too, estimating 30% for one claim-free year and 60% for five claim-free years – although again, each insurance provider may be different so drivers need to compare.

“No claims discount protection is another hot topic for discussion this year, customers need to check the details through with their insurer, get a quote with and without the additional protection for comparison and make sure their bonus is protected continuously should they decide to switch providers.

“Normally protected discounts allow drivers to make up to two claims within a three to five year period without losing their no claims discount, but this can vary between insurers so be careful.

“It will not only help them stay on the right side of the law but also help them find real savings by shedding any extras they don’t need.”

How to save £46 on your car insurance

Rather than paying their premium in monthly instalments, paying it off in one annual bulk payment could save UK motorists £46 a year, research has revealed.

Monthly car insurance payments are typically more expensive as drivers are paying for the benefit of having the cost broken down into more manageable chunks, as well as any additional fees incurred by the insurer who may have to carry out a credit check.

Julie Daniels, motor insurance expert at Compare the Market, explained: “There will be many motorists feeling the impact financially from the increasing cost of car insurance, amongst the rise in other household bills.

“With the cost of car insurance now around £900 on average, some motorists may be considering paying smaller amounts on a monthly basis, rather than one lump-sum payment. 

“Although monthly payments might seem easier and may be the only viable option for some households, if you’re in a financial position to be able to pay your car insurance policy annually, this could typically lower your premium by up to £46.

“If you are unable to pay your premium in one go, there are other options which could help save you money.

“Shopping around ahead of renewal is one of the best ways to see what deals are available. Switching to a telematics policy may also be a good option for some young motorists, whose premium could be reduced if they demonstrate they are a safe driver.”