What are the different kinds of Driving Convictions?
There are a number of driving convictions you can receive, they will all affect your Insurance Premium but to varying degrees. The most common ones differ between Men and Women. For Men, the most commonplace convictions are SP30’s (exceeding the speed limit on a public road), SP50’s (exceeding the speed limit on a motorway), IN10’s (using a vehicle that isn’t insured against third party risks), CU80’s (breaching the requirements as to control of the vehicle, for example, using your phone), and DR10’s (driving under the influence of alcohol). For women, the most common convictions are SP30’s, SP50’s, CU80’s, TS10’s (failure to comply with traffic light signals), and IN10’s. Having one of these convictions attached to your licence could (and most likely will) lead to a higher premium than that of a, say, CU30 (driving a vehicle with defective tyres).
How do they affect my Insurance?
Well that is dependant on the severity of your conviction. For instance, an SP40 (exceeding passenger vehicle speed limit) conviction, which comes with 3 points added to your licence and a £100 fine can net a 40-year-old a price increase from £498.86 to £587.37 on a 1.2L Vauxhall Corsa. Insurers can work out how much to increase your premium by based upon data they have access to. This data tells them what minor convictions occur more frequently thus it gives them an idea of the probability of a claim. Some Insurers claim that an individual who has received a conviction is 40% more likely to make a claim than someone who has a clean licence.
Will I need to declare my Convictions?
Any conviction you currently have (or have received in the last 5 years) will need to be stated as and when you apply for a quote. If you don’t disclose this information to your insurer this could lead to any claim you make on your policy becoming invalid and your insurer refusing to pay out. They can also add an additional charge on top of your claim and refuse to pay out until you pay that charge. Unlike the convictions themselves, failing to declare you have a conviction when applying for a quote can stay on your record for life, this will affect any insurance applications you make – it’s not worth a lifetime of hassle to try and swindle your insurer. If, however, the conviction is spent then you don’t need to declare it because it no longer applies to your record.
How do I save money on insurance if I have a speeding conviction?
As stated prior, the speeding conviction is the most conviction that drivers in the UK receive, male or female. A way to save yourself the hassle of having a conviction and the hassle that it brings when its comes to your insurance is to take a speed awareness course. Not everyone will be offered this as an alternative however. These courses do require an upfront payment but they are often less than the actual fine. Another way is a telematics (black box) insurance policy, insurance companies encourage this to convicted drivers after a speeding offence. This policy lets you and your insurer measure how well you can drive and your speed. If after doing one (or both of these things) your insurance policy is still costing you an arm and a leg it would be wise to shop around and find an insurer who is a Convicted Driver Specialist.
Having a conviction can be a daunting thing (especially when it comes to insurance) but it need not to be. All you need is the knowledge to minimise the cost to yourself and the honesty to own up to your mistake. No matter how frustrating you may find it you must try to always be truthful to your insurer, they will find out and a short-term hit is better than a long-term punishment. Assess yourself, learn from your mistake, and change what needs to change.