How and Why will it Affect My Insurance?
As we already noted above, your insurance will be affected. You will see that when it comes to getting a new policy (or a renewal of an old one) your premium will have increased by a not-so-insignificant degree. The reason for this is simply put as “You are more of a risk”. Insurance is a risk-based game, your conviction tells an insurer that you’re a risk, not only to yourself but to others. This means they have an increased chance of having to pay out and your premium will reflect this. A side note, don’t try to hide your conviction from your insurer, they can and will find out. Lying will lead to them cancelling your policy or just refusing to pay a claim and could lead to you getting additional punishment (it’s illegal to lie on a quote form).
What if my Conviction Happened a While Ago?
Well, this depends on whether it is a spent conviction or not. A “spent” conviction is one that no longer needs to be declared. It usually remains on your record for a number of years after it has been spent though. If an insurer asks you to disclose a spent conviction you are well within your legal rights not to declare it; just make sure it’s actually spent before doing that though. For example, a DR10 conviction stays on your record for 11 years yet is “spent” insofar as insurers are concerned within 5 years of the conviction date. This is because of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974. Something to remember is that this doesn’t just extend to driving convictions, this is any criminal conviction you have obtained.
How Can I Save Money on My Insurance?
Now that we’ve talked of the how and why of the matter at hand, let’s go through some top tips for you to save money on your premium. Insurance is full of little tricks you can do to potentially lower your premium, things like paying a higher excess, driving less, increasing security, where you park your car at night, etc. Let’s delve into some of these things a little bit deeper;
Black Box (Telematics) Insurance
I don’t think the importance of this policy when it comes to lowering costs for you can be overstated. It’s one of (if not the best) way to lower premium costs for you; it’s why it is so heavily recommended for young drivers and safe drivers. For those of you who’ve got no idea what I am talking about, I’ll tell you. The Black Box is a small device which is fitted discreetly in your car. This device monitors everything your car does. For example, it collects data on how you drive, to where you drive, the time you’re driving and can even collect important data if you’re involved an accident! All of this data is then transmitted back back to your insurer. This data is then collected and stored, and when it’s time for renewal it could be taken into account to help lower your premium - depending on how well and safe you have been driving of course! You’re not left in the dark though, you can access this data through a portal or site provided by your insurer, letting you know how you’re doing and if/where you need to improve.
Increasing your Voluntary Excess
How much you pay for your voluntary excess is like you’re gambling. You’re putting money on how likely you think you’re not going to crash. The more you put into this voluntary excess, the more likely your premium is going to be lower. It tells your insurer that you believe you’re a lower risk to them and are putting your own money where your mouth is.
Taking a Rehabilitation Course
For the convicted drivers who have a drink/drug related conviction, it would be a good idea for you to look into taking a rehabilitation course. This simple act could save you an arm and a leg in insurance premium costs. It tells insurers that despite your mistake, you’ve learned from it and are less of a risk when it comes to “reoffending” (you would even be statistically less likely of making a claim than your counterparts). It does depend on the insurer though, some might not take the rehabilitation course into account so it’s wise to check with any insurer you are looking for a quote from.
So, in the end, yes, you’ll have a tougher time with your insurance than what you did prior to your conviction but it’s not the end of the world. Understand that no matter what you do it’s not going to be as cheap as it was for some time but you can do things to lessen the impact.