There are a load of myths around points on your license and how they impact your insurance. So, let's get to the bottom of it...
- How can points on your license affect your insurance?
- Do points on your license get written off?
- Do you need to tell your insurer about driving convictions?
Before we look into the details of points on your license, how you get them and what they mean, we need to talk about the impact on driving during lockdown. We know there are more important things to be thinking about during the uncertainty of coronavirus (COVID-19), but the ‘stay safe’ message should apply to all aspects of our lives - including behind the wheel. We’ve seen a rise in speeding during lockdown, with the number of under 25’s caught driving over the speed limit increasing by a sixth. This telematics data tells us that there’s been an increase in ‘red alerts’ meaning that the driver was so far over the speed limit that they would have been banned from driving if caught by the police. Roads are a lot quieter during lockdown, but that doesn’t mean that the usual rules don’t apply. If anything we should be taking extra care on the road due to the increase in families cycling for their daily exercise and the probability of pedestrians stepping off the pavement to observe social distancing. Speeding can not only cause serious accidents, but like all motoring convictions; you could lose your license and increase the cost of your car insurance premium.
First things first, what do motoring conviction codes mean?
Whether you call them motoring convictions, endorsements or fixed penalty notices, they all pretty much mean the same thing – points on your license. The codes refer to different types of offence; from speeding, to invalid MOT’s and even driving without insurance. Each code carries a different weight in terms of points on your license, so check out this comprehensive list from Gov.uk to get all the specifics.
So, how many of us have points on our licenses?
According to thisismoney.co.uk, there are over 2.6million motorists in the UK who currently have points on their license. It’s more common than we may think, but insurers will still need to take any driving offences – no matter how big or small, into account. As long as you give us all the info we need, we should still be able to cover you.
What’s the most common motoring offence?The most common reason for points on your license is unsurprisingly, speeding. Many of us believe the myth that you’re allowed a leeway of some kind, however police are not required to allow for any kind of percentage leeway. You could be put on a speed awareness course or get points on your license for any level of speeding, however the more you’re over the speed limit, the harsher the penalty could be, and in some cases it could even result in a driving ban.
Do points on your driving license expire or get written off?Sarah Amos, our Motor Senior Underwriter, says “Most types of penalty points, for things like speeding or using a mobile phone are on the license for four years, however, some offences like drink driving could remain on your license for up to 11 years because of their severity.” It’s also worth remembering that new drivers will have their license revoked if they receive more than six points in their first two years of driving. Needless to say, this will not result in particularly cheap car insurance once they’re back behind the wheel!
Whilst we look at each case on its merits, customers who don’t tell us about licence points or driving bans, risk having their claims refused or their cover invalidated
What happens if I don’t tell my insurer about points on my license?As cliché as it sounds, when it comes to talking about your driving history, honesty really is the best policy. Our Claims Indemnity Manager, Paul Greenaway, says “Legislation states that customers must answer questions accurately as it’s very important that we know the driving history of an individual. Customers who don’t tell us about points on their license or driving bans, risk having their claims refused or policy voided meaning we treat the customer as though they were never insured.” So make sure you give your insurer correct and current information so that you can rest assured you’re protected should you need them.
How do points on my license affect my car insurance premium?There are no two ways about it; points on your license will not make for cheap car insurance. When you have previous points or convictions, you’re seen by insurers as a potentially risky customer which means your premiums may be slightly higher than drivers who have no marks against their name. You’ll find this with most insurers, but as long as you’re honest from the get go about your driving history, you’ll still be protected if you ever needed to claim. You’ll also find that being clear and accurate when getting your car insurance will mean a far quicker quote process overall.
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