How Points On Your License Affect Your Car Insurance

Car insurance is a very complicated thing, a serious of calculations that use a range of different details about an individual, their car and their lifestyle to work out a unique premium for their policy. One of the major things that can have an impact on your car insurance is having points on your license.

Penalty Point Basics

Under the law in the UK, there are a number of different things that can see you receive points on your license. Probably the most common reason is for speeding while others include traffic light offences, using your mobile phone while driving and driving without the correct license or insurance. Then there are even more serious convictions for things such as drink/drug driving and for dangerous driving.

The amount of points given for a conviction varies depending on the conviction and will see a conviction code placed on your license, often alongside a fine to be paid. For example, an SP30 conviction is a standard speeding conviction that usually sees 3 points on the license and a fine of around £60. A drink driving conviction is a DR10 conviction and usually results in a ban and a fine.

If you accumulate 12 or more points across a period of three years, you can be banned from driving. Normally, this ban will last for six months though the courts can extend this if required. Other convictions have an automatic ban. New drivers can only accumulate six points on their license before they are banned and have to retake their driving test before being legal again.

Points & Car Insurance

The effect of points on the license can vary from person to person. At one time, a single speeding conviction wouldn’t have much effect on your policy but this has changed in recent years. Now, every conviction on the license can increase your insurance and if you have more than one, then this increase will be more. Serious convictions could see a large increase to premiums or even that insurers will decline to offer a quote.

One of the biggest areas of confusion is around how long you need to declare your convictions to insurance. Again, this depends on the conviction. For most convictions, such as speeding, convictions need to be declared for five years, though some insurers stop at three years. For serious convictions such as drink driving they will need to be declared for around 11 years.

Keeping Yourself Covered

As with anything relating to insurance, it is always best to tell your insurer about any convictions, the code on your license and the date. Even if they are no longer on your license, if it is within five years for minor convictions you should tell your insurer to make certain you are covered correctly.

If you don’t declare a conviction that could have affected your insurer and you have a claim, your insurer has the right to void your policy and refuse to pay out on the claim. This means you would be liable for any damages yourself and could face prosecution. So always play safe and disclose any convictions.