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Impact of penalty points and convictions on car insurance rates

Are you one of the 2.6 million UK drivers who have penalty points on their licence? Did you know that your insurance could be affected? 1

Claims statistics show that drivers with penalty points and motoring offences incurred over the last five years make more claims and are prone to more driving offences.2 If you have penalty points, insurers could see you as a careless or even dangerous driver and potentially increase the cost of your premiums or refuse to insure you altogether.

Declaring Your Penalty Points to Your Insurer

Failure to disclose penalty points is an offence and could mean you are committing insurance fraud. Some insurers use MyLicence online service which provides accurate driving history for all drivers. Many insurers will expect you to tell them about penalty points received at renewal time, while others will want you to inform them immediately. Our team of insurance experts can advise on this, so talk to them if you’re not sure. You can find out whether you have penalty points on the Government website.

How Do Penalty Points Affect Your Licence?

The length of time points stay on your licence depends on the type of driving offence. Serious offences stay on your licence for 11 years, and more common offences for 4 years.3 If you receive 12 or more penalty points over three years, you might be banned from driving.4 Each driving offence will be issued with a code and the number of penalty points in relation to the offence.

If you can attend a speed awareness course instead of receiving points on your licence, do it. You may have to pay for the course, but once completed you won’t receive any penalty points for that specific offence.

Price Increases

Many insurers view drivers with penalty points as higher risk, which can lead to higher premium costs. The more points you have on your licence, the higher the increase could be. If you have a telematics (black box) insurance, or in some cases pay for your premium monthly, increases in your motor insurance can be instant. If you have annual insurance, the increase may occur at the time of renewal.

If you’re having trouble finding insurance for your van or car, or your premiums have increased because of points on your licence, get in touch. We can work on your behalf to potentially find you cover that is competitively priced and meets your requirements

What Factors Influence Premium Increases?

Insurance companies can vary in terms of criteria and their policy around penalty points, with one insurer viewing penalty points differently from another. The following factors can give an indication as to what could affect your insurance:

· If you already have points on your licence, your insurer could view you as being an unreliable driver prone to issues around the handling of your vehicle and behaviour on the road. As a result, your insurance premiums might increase.

· The more severe the driving offence, the more likely you are to see price increases around your insurance. Offences such as drink driving and speeding could impact the cost of your premiums.

By How Much Could the Price of Your Premium Increase?

Driving when using a mobile phone could result in an average premium increase by over 50% for 1-3 points. If you have more than one conviction, your premium could rise by just over 70% and more than 7 points for this type of offence could be a huge increase of 174%. 5

For speeding offences with 1-3 points, the average increase on your insurance could be around 34%. For 4-6 points, you could see an increase of over 50%, and a 94% increase for 7 or more points on speeding-related offences. 6

Before you lose hope, talk to us. We take into consideration the type of driving offence, the number of points, and how long you have had the points on your licence. With accurate information, we can connect with a wide range of leading insurers to potentially get you the cover you need.

Can You Get Insurance if You’re a Convicted Driver?

Yes, you can, but you will need specialist insurance. Whether you are convicted for minor speeding offences, disqualified from driving, driven under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or have a complete driving ban, we can help. We specialise in finding insurance where some brokers may not be able to.

Been Convicted of a Drink Driving Offence?

If you have been convicted of drunk driving, you will probably have less policies and providers to choose from. Getting the help of a specialist motor insurance broker like BCD can give you a better chance of getting competitively priced cover that fits your needs. We also provide ongoing customer support and help with a claims process should you need it.

How Can You Potentially Reduce the Cost of Convicted Driver Insurance?

Convicted driver insurance (also known as high-risk insurance) can often be more expensive than ‘standard’ motor insurance. But you can potentially reduce insurance costs by taking the following actions:

· Complete a Driving Rehabilitation Course if one is offered to you. If you have a drink driving offence, completing a course will help meet legal obligations and demonstrate to your insurer that you are committed to safer driving.

· Paying a higher voluntary excess (the amount you financially contribute towards a claim) can help lower premiums.

· Insurers see lower mileage as lower risk. Choosing a policy with limited mileage could help reduce the cost of your premiums.

· Improve vehicle security by installing alarms, immobilizers, or tracking devices. Insurers like vehicles that present a lower risk of getting stolen. Increasing your vehicle security can potentially help lower premiums.

Why Choose BCD?

Some insurers may charge high premiums for convicted drivers. Some insurers won’t cover you at all. Finding insurance through us could get you covered at a fair price with a policy that suits your needs. Our team of insurance experts has access to a wide panel of insurers, which gives you a better chance of getting cover at a competitive price. When you contact us, please let us know about any penalty points or convictions you have. That way, our team can get a complete understanding of your circumstances and work on finding you suitable cover.

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Business Choice Direct Insurance Services is a trading name of Specialist Broking Retail Limited who are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Specialist Broking Retail Limited is registered in England and Wales No. 10301653.  Registered Office: Affinity House, Bindon Road, Taunton, Somerset, TA2 6AA.

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