Penalty Points and How They Affect Your Insurance
There are various reasons for the endorsement of penalty points on licenses; some of these include drink driving, speeding, driving while disqualified and driving without insurance (just to name a few). When you commit a motoring offence and are given penalty points, these points will stay on your license for anywhere between 4 and 11 years, depending upon the severity of your offence. The only way to get these points removed from your license after this period has passed is to apply for a new license.
Penalty points on your license have a number of negative impacts. Not only will you be fined at the same time, but you risk losing your license if you build up too many points or receive 6 or more points within two years of getting your license. If you have 12 or more points over 3 years you will be banned from driving for 6 months – or longer if the courts say so. New drivers will have to retake their test before getting their license back. Along with these risks, you will also incur insurance problems, namely: a rise in the price you have to pay.
It is mandatory that you declare any penalty points on your license to your insurer – failure to do so risks the loss of your insurance; furthermore, non-disclosures can stay on your record for life and affect future insurance policies. The more points you have on your insurance, the higher the price you face to pay. As an alternative to getting points on your license when you are caught speeding, you may be given the option to attend a speeding course. Attendance of this one-day course means you will not be fined and you will not be given any penalty points. While you still must make your insurer aware of this, it is unlikely to put your insurance up by as much as what it could be if you had not attended.
How much your insurance premium is affected will depend on the offence. Penalty points from drink driving will be treated with greater gravity than a solitary speeding offence. Other factors taken into account will be your previous driving history and convictions, your age and vehicle type, as well as the convictions policy your insurance company holds. 3 points could push prices up by 5%, while 10 or more points could push prices up by over 80%. The more recent your points are, the higher the prices will be, furthermore, repeated points will affect your ability to get insurance.
No matter how many points you have, it is vital that you always disclose them to your insurer – even if they are no longer on your license but have been in the past 5 years. If you have a claim and you have failed to disclose your penalty points, your insurer has the right to void your policy and refuse to pay out the claim. This means you are responsible for any damages yourself.
So what can be done? The same you would do for buying insurance anyway – shop around. Some insurers will provide a better quote for those with points than others. However, the most important thing to remember is that driving laws exist for a reason: to keep us all safe. So drive with due caution and with respect for other road users.
If you would like more information on penalty points and how they affect your insurance, give us a call on 028 9027 8779. Or feel free to contact us via our website on: