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Buying car insurance, when you have convictions


Car insurance is an essential service intended to protect the driver, other motor vehicle operators and even pedestrians. Without this coverage, it is illegal to place any vehicle on the road. Although this can be a bit of a complicated topic, it can become even more confusing for those who may have convictions or points on their licence. Let's take a look at common types of offences that can cause potential problems as well as the effect that these can have on the insurance plans themselves.



Major Offences

(1) Driving Under the Influence - Drink driving is arguably one of the most common convictions that will cause insurance premiums to rise dramatically. In Wales and England, an offence occurs when the blood alcohol limit of the driver exceeds 80 milligrams of alcohol for even 100 millilitres of blood. This automatically adds eleven penalty points to a licence. While the first incident is bad enough, multiple convictions can lead to great difficulty in getting insured at any price, and in some cases, imprisonment.
(2) Leaving the Scene of an Accident - Whether intentional or not, the results are very severe in the event that a driver flees the scene of a motor vehicle accident. This normally occurs if one of the two parties is not insured or a driver fears that he or she may be at fault and decides to simply leave. Failure to remain on the scene is another serious conviction and this is even more severe if another party was injured.
(3) Fleeing from the Police - Fleeing from the police is considered one of the most serious offences in the United Kingdom, and for good reason. The lives of other drivers, pedestrians and the police themselves are all placed at risk. So, it only makes sense that this act may cause up to eleven points to be placed upon a licence.

Minor offences
We should also keep in mind that minor convictions can also have a dramatic effect on insurance rates; especially if penalty points are allowed to add up over time. For example, driving with under-inflated tyres is associated with three penalty points. The same is true when driving with a broken headlamp or a cracked windscreen. Multiple convictions (from the standpoint of insurance premiums) can sometimes be quite similar to a single drink driving offence.

Potential impacts

Let's first note that your licence will be suspended if you accumulate more than 12 points within any given three-year period. This results in an automatic six-month suspension although the courts reserve the right to extend the window based upon the exact offence.

In any event, your premiums are likely to rise. This might not happen immediately, as some providers will only increase rates once a policy is renewed. Certain companies will charge higher for speeding offences, as these drivers are thought to be more likely to cause accidents in the future. Let's also remember that any penalty points will remain on your licence for four years, so the premiums are not likely to drop.

In terms of exact premium hikes, these will naturally depend upon the provider. However, it has been shown that those with six points on their licence pay approximately nine per cent higher than normal rates. Anyone with more serious convictions such as drink driving may experience substantial increases. There can also be times when an insurer simply refuses to provide coverage to the driver. So, it is clear to see that the only way to avoid these situations is to maintain a safe and clean driving record.


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