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Getting a criminal conviction is easy to do in the UK. Finishing up with motoring convictions or merely totting up points on your driving licence is also easy to do. However, finding reasonably priced car insurance after you have obtained a conviction, numerous points on your licence or a disqualification is not so easy!
To get a criminal conviction, the only thing required is getting caught while committing one of thousands of actions that successive governments, whether sensibly or not, have decided were illegal. The only thing required to obtain a motoring conviction or to tot up sufficient points for a driving ban is to break one of the innumerable rules whilst driving on a couple of occasions. This is simple to do, since there are over 80 different driving conviction codes in the UK that you may accidentally violate. These driving codes cover offences that range from driving a vehicle with a cracked mirror to driving dangerously, or without a licence.
After a conviction, or even whilst a court case is pending, many drivers find it difficult to get insured at a reasonable cost. If the worst came to the worst and you were disqualified from driving returning to motoring after the ban is lifted is very difficult. One factor that makes the return difficult is that you could have to retake your driving test, unless it was just a short-term ban. However, what makes it the most difficult is obtaining adequate insurance cover at an affordable price. The fact remains that having convictions or a high number of points on your driving record makes it more difficult to obtain car insurance at any price.
Many insurers will deny you altogether. Other insurers will sell you cover, but only at a much higher cost. Some will even insist on increasing the amounts of excess payable if you were involved in an accident. There are reasonable prices out there, however, if you know where to look.
One UK legal information web site conducted surveys of various insurers in 2004, 2007, and 2009 to find out just how much a conviction or high points affected the cost of insurance. The sample quote obtained for the 2009 survey was for a 34 year old male driving a Ford C Max worth £10,000 with a voluntary £150 excess. The overall survey results for 2009 were:
• With no points: average premium out of the 66 companies quoted was £382.74
• With 6 points, all over 4 years old: average premium out of 61 companies was increased by 7.91% to £406.23
• With 6 points, all over 3 years old: average premium out of 63 companies was increased by 8.82% to £412.88
• With 6 points, with half being older than 4 years old and half less than 2 years old: average premium out of 62 companies was increased by 14.31% to £433.48
• With 6 points, entirely within the past 2 years: average premium of 61 companies increased by 24.35% to £472.79. However, some companies had increases of over 85 per cent.
• With 9 points entirely within the past 2 years: average premium of 49 companies increased by 46.94% to £542.33
• With a 28 day disqualification for speeding: average premium of 51 companies increased by 23.35% to £468.54
• With a drink drive disqualification: average premium of 38 companies increased by 53.37% to £580.38
Lowering the cost
It’s obvious that the premiums will be much more costly for those with convictions and high points on their records. However, there are a few things you can do to lower the cost. The first way is to shop around for the right insurer. You can save some time and leg work by getting insurance quotes online, and some companies offer discounts for online purchasing.
Secondly, find the right insurance policy. Many insurance companies offer special cover for specific types of convictions and high points. Often, a smaller company will not charge you as much as a bigger one will.
After you’ve found the right company and cover to fit your situation, research all your options. Check to see if the insurer will lower the premium if you take driving courses, can prove a change of lifestyles, or seek rehabilitation treatments. Find out if reducing the amount of driving you do will help to lower the premium.
Sometimes, it can help to add someone else with a clean driving record and no prior insurance claims as a secondary driver but conversely, in other cases, it may help if there are no other drivers besides the car’s owner listed on the policy cover. Sometimes, an insurer may be willing to lower the premiums if you increase the vehicle’s security and safety features.
You should also take the time to educate yourself regarding the types of legal recourse you may have. In some cases, it’s possible to reduce the amount of time that a conviction or endorsement stays on your driving record. Since some can stay on your licence for up to eleven years, you may wish to appeal any convictions or traffic citations that are not warranted. However, please bear in mind that, win or lose, costs could be very high and be sure to retain the services of a professional motoring law expert. Obtaining affordable car insurance after a conviction is not easy to do. However, it’s not completely impossible. The best way to find a good deal is to go through an insurance broker or an insurance specialist who is familiar with your specific type of conviction or motoring offences.