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Lockdown speeders face minimum 35% insurance premium hike

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29/04/2020
While roads may be quieter due to lockdown, police forces are reporting a dramatic rise in drivers speeding which puts lives at risk and means they face a hefty insurance penalty.

The roads have largely been deserted but police forces up and down the country said a minority of drivers are using the roads as ‘personal racetracks’.

Not only does this pose a threat to drivers and other road users, but those caught speeding face a minimum 35% higher insurance premium as a result, a driving conviction or a complete ban.

Speeding offences are divided into three main categories (bands A to C) based on seriousness, with penalties becoming more severe up the bands. Penalties also depend on how much the speed limit was exceeded by and, the type of road.

Most prosecuted speeding offences fall into the lowest category. Where the driver accepts responsibility, they will be fined (minimum £100) and receive three points on their licence, unless they have been given the option of attending a speed awareness course instead of prosecution.

In addition to larger fines, drivers committing a category B speeding violation face between four and six penalty points. Category C offences result in six penalty points or a driving ban. Penalty points remain on driving licences for four years from the date of the offence.

When applying for insurance, drivers must disclose motoring offences, including speeding. Drivers who have opted to attend a speed awareness course won’t have their speeding recorded as a conviction but may still be required to disclose their attendance to their insurer.

Drivers who hide speeding convictions also risk invalidating their cover.

Motorists convicted of speeding will typically pay more for their insurance because insurers deem them to be a higher risk. The size of the increase will depend on the driver’s individual circumstances (age, experience, vehicle, etc.) and the severity of the offence.

‘Don’t be tempted to cut the cost of cover by withholding the truth’

Lee Griffin CEO and one of the founders of GoCompare said, “Speeding is a common driving offence, but having penalty points on your licence will almost always increase the cost of your insurance. How much more you’ll have to pay will depend on your insurer and your individual circumstances. The kind of reckless speeding many police forces are currently reporting, could carry a very hefty price for motorists.

“Insurers take differing views on motoring convictions and price accordingly. Some insurers will swerve speeders altogether, while there are others that will provide cover, at a price. So, if you are convicted of speeding, or another driving offence, you need to shop around to find the best deal.

“Don’t be tempted to cut the cost of cover by withholding the truth. You’re legally required to tell your existing insurer about any penalty points you hold and declare them when applying for a new policy. If you don’t, you could invalidate your insurance and any claims you make could be rejected.

“By being untruthful in order to get cheaper cover, you also run the risk of being charged with insurance fraud.”

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