Speed cameras are now a regular feature on our roads, and have successfully reduced accidents, while raising millions of pounds in fines. Such is their prevalence, that one in four households have a driver that has been caught speeding at least once. With the conviction comes three points on the licence and a 60 fine but research carried out by the AA has shown that there are more costs to consider, and that’s on the car insurance.
The AA’s research showed that on average drivers can expect to see their premiums rise by 20% with speeding offences, even if their driving record was perfect before. They made their findings through mystery shopping calling a range of eight insurance companies and giving the details of a 25-year-old and a 40-year-old to get a broad picture of the effects.
The premiums for the 25-year-old increased by an average of 42 after one driving offence, and by 178 with two. The 40-year-old would see an average rise of 28 after one offence, and 116 after two.
However, for the 25-year-old, only four of the insurers surveyed raised their premiums on an existing policy because of a first speeding offence. With a second offence in the same year however, one insurer raised the premiums from 563 to 921, another from 563 to 776. One company could not commit to insuring the driver with a second offence.
If you are caught by a speed camera, then it is important to tell your existing insurer. There is no reason not to, as they are unlikely to raise your premiums immediately, they will wait until renewal time to reconsider your premiums. The reason why it is important is because if you do have an accident and make a claim, they can use your non-disclosure of a speeding conviction to overturn your claim. And that is not worth the risk!
Also, if you are getting quotes for a new policy, then again it is essential that you disclose the speeding conviction. Points stay on your driving licence for three years, but due to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act, insurers are able to take the conviction into consideration for five years following the offence.
The key is to shop around. Some insurers will penalise drivers with speeding offences more than others, and it will depend on your age, where you live etc as usual. More serious motoring offences will result in larger hikes in your premiums.
If you do get a speeding conviction, don’t despair just get on the Internet and get as many quotes as you can. Using a comparison website usually comes up with some good results. You may find that by shopping around you still beat last year’s premiums, even with your conviction! If you renew with your existing insurance company without checking out the competition, you could be throwing away hundreds of pounds needlessly.
Of course, the best tactic would to be to drive within the speed limits. But all you have to do is drive a few miles an hour over the limit to get caught, so it can happen to anyone.
The golden rules are be honest about the offence, and shop around. You’ll be amazed at how cheap your motor insurance can still be with a little time and effort.