Convicted Driver Insurance
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What is convicted driver insurance?
If you have previously been convicted of a driving offence, finding car insurance can be extremely difficult. Premium costs can be very high. Drivers who have previously been disqualified for drunk driving or drug driving may even be refused a policy by many insurers Even criminal convictions which seem to have no bearing on driving can limit the range of insurance cover available.
This is because of the perceived risk for the insurer. Statistically, drivers with previous convictions are more likely to make a claim. This can mean convicted drivers are not able to find affordable policies.
Who needs convicted driver insurance?
There is a range of reasons why an insurer could refuse cover for driving convictions. If you have any of the following driving convictions, you might need to contact an insurer about the specialist cover:
IN10: Driving without insurance
DR10: Driving or attempting to drive with a blood alcohol level which exceeds the legal limit
DD10: Driving in a dangerous manner
DD20: Driving at a dangerous speed
DD30: Conviction for reckless driving
SP50: Exceeding the speed limit on the motorway
CU80: Using a handheld device (like a mobile phone) whilst driving Anyone with points on their licence runs the risk of increased premium costs.
Do I need convicted driver insurance?
The continuous insurance enforcement rules mean that even if you own a vehicle which you don’t drive, it must still be insured. The only exception to this is if the vehicle is declared SORN (Statutory Off Road Notification).
Do I have to declare my driving convictions?
When applying for insurance, you have a duty to inform your insurer of all ‘unspent’ convictions. Failing to declare convictions is a serious matter. If you have a driving conviction and do not declare it to your insurer, you might find that your policy is invalid.
The length of time which elapses before a conviction becomes spent depends on the nature of the sentence. This reflects the severity of the crime. For example, drunk driving convictions will usually be spent between three and five years. However, the more serious offence of causing death by dangerous driving could stay on your licence for up to eleven years.
What cover do convicted drivers need?
Third-party only: This is the minimum level of cover required by law. You are insured for damage to third parties in the event of an accident.
Third-party, fire and theft: As above, but in addition, the policy protects against claims for fire and theft
Comprehensive: The highest level of cover. All of the covers above are in place, as well as legal and compensation costs for third parties in the event of an accident.
What should I do if I am refused insurance for driving convictions?
If you have previously been banned from driving, or have convictions, some insurers may refuse to cover you. In this case, the National Association of Reformed Offenders (UNLOCK) may be able to help. They keep a register of specialist brokers who offer insurance for convicted drivers.
It is worth contacting a number of insurers to compare policy costs. Premiums for convicted drivers are usually higher than for those without. However, depending on the nature of your driving offence, some policies may still have better value than others.
How to get cheaper convicted drivers insurance
Convicted drivers represent a high level of risk for insurers. If you have been previously convicted of a driving offence, statistically you are much more likely to make a claim. Therefore, premium costs can be very high. If you are able to find an insurer willing to cover you, there are ways to try and reduce the overall cost of your policy.
- Raise the level of excess – In the event of a claim, the excess is the voluntary amount that you pay out before the insurance coverage starts. By raising this amount, you can bring down the overall cost of the premium.
- Secure your vehicle – Reducing the risk of theft can lower policy costs. Make sure your vehicle is kept secure when not in use. Fitting and using an alarm or immobiliser or CCTV can deter thieves. If you are able to keep your car off the road, this can also lower the risk, and therefore premium costs.
- Low mileage – The lower your mileage, the smaller the risk of a claim. By keeping your annual mileage low, your insurer may offer a reduction in premium costs.
Frequently Asked Questions
I have been banned from driving. Do I still need to insure my car?
If you are banned, you are in breach of a standard insurance policy, as you no longer hold a valid driving licence. If you want to keep your car for when the ban has expired, you will need to have a minimum of third-party cover in place, unless your vehicle is off the road. This will require a declaration of SORN (statutory off-road notice).
Can I still get car insurance if I have points on my driving licence?
Many motorists who break the law whilst driving will receive penalty points. These can vary depending on the nature of the offence. The more serious the offence, the higher the number of points. Motorists with points on their licence should still be able to get car insurance.
However, the cost of a premium is likely to be higher than for a driver with no points. This is because convicted drivers are more likely to make a claim. If you have a high number of points on your licence, you might need to contact a specialist insurer for convicted driver insurance.
What will happen if I don’t declare my driving conviction to an insurer?
It can be tempting to try and hide driving convictions to get a cheaper insurance policy. But lying or omitting important information like this from your insurer is a really bad idea. You could be charged with fraud. Furthermore, your policy will not be valid. This means that in the event of a claim, you would not be covered, and would be liable for any costs yourself. Always declare unspent convictions when buying car insurance.