New research from the RAC has discovered that approximately 18% of all motorists would not disclose new driving convictions to their insurer. This means that across the whole of the UK there could be as many as up to 7 million drivers on the road without valid insurance cover.
The need to disclose convictions is more important than ever as the DVLA has completely digitalised their records. This has made it much easier for insurers to know whether a driver has had a conviction in the past.
The report from the RAC also illustrates that a quarter of drivers that have existing convictions have not told their insurance company when setting up an insurance policy or renewing for another year. This means that there are around 700,000 motorists without valid insurance cover.
Speeding is by far the most common motoring conviction, whether on a motorway or a public road. Driving whilst using a mobile phone is also a common conviction and it is penalised in a similar way to speeding. Drink driving is also a common conviction, despite being one of the most serious offences, resulting in a one year ban and a criminal record. Statistics from Be Wiser Insurance show that almost half (42%) of motorists with a drink-driving conviction are between the age of 25-34 years.
However it is worth noting that for consumer insurances, such as private motor vehicle insurance, customers are protected under the Consumer Insurance (Disclosure and Representations) Act 2012. This means that if your insurer did not ask about any previous convictions and you did have points on your licence it will most likely be deemed to be innocent misrepresentation. If you did innocently miss out some information the insurer should have asked for, the insurer should still pay for a potential claim. However if the insurer does ask and the information is left out, whether carelessly or deliberately, the insurer will have their own remedy for the situation which could range from rejection of the claim to demanding a higher premium.
Unfortunately, if you are convicted of a driving offence you will in all probability have to pay a higher premium in the future. According to Confused.com a serious conviction such as drink driving could double your insurance premium. Other convictions such as speeding could increase your premium by 34% or using a mobile phone whilst driving could increase your premium by almost 50%.
As an insurance broker, Call Wiser works for the customer first. That means that if you have a conviction, we can help you in finding the best insurance provider that meets your needs and your budget. For existing customers too, if a conviction does dramatically alter your insurance premium we are always more than happy to select another insurance provider as we will always be looking at the best insurance policy for you. If you are a convicted driver it is always safer to remain vigilant and carefully disclose all facts, the insurer penalties for non- disclosure are always more severe than full disclosure.
Our experts at Call Wiser are all fully trained with the certified CII qualification. This ensures that we carefully explain all the information that insurance providers require as well as answer and provide advice to any questions that you have about insurance.