Coronavirus: Lockdown speeders face hefty insurance premium increase

Published 28 April 2020

Speeding drivers have been warned that their insurance premiums could increase by a third if they are caught flouting limits during the coronavirus lockdown.

Road traffic numbers have fallen by two-thirds since the Government issued its advice to stay at home to combat the spread of the coronavirus, but some police forces have reported that some drivers are recklessly using quieter roads like a racetrack, with some driving at extreme speeds.

“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," warned Lee Griffin CEO and one of the founders of GoCompare.

"The kind of reckless speeding many police forces are currently reporting could carry a very hefty price for motorists."

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.

Speeding offences are divided into three main categories (Bands A to C) based on seriousness, with penalties of increasing severity to reflect the seriousness of the offence. Penalties depend on several factors including by how much the speed limit was exceeded by and the type of road.

Most prosecuted speeding offences fall into the lowest category, these generally lead to a speeding ticket (Fixed Penalty Notice). Provided the driver accepts responsibility, they will be fined a minimum of £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.

For example, a 30-year-old female, driving an Audi A3, living in London would pay £1084 for cover if they had no driving convictions. The cost would increase by 34 per cent to £1450 if they were convicted of speeding with three points on their licence.

A 50-year-old male in Norwich driving a BMW 535 DGT M Sport, convicted of speeding on the motorway (six points), could see their premium rise 35 per cent from £712 to £961. However, if it was deemed to be dangerous driving, his existing insurer could charge far more, and many other insurers might decline to offer a price.

When applying for insurance, drivers are required to disclose any motoring offences they have been convicted of, including speeding. Drivers who have opted to attend a speed awareness course will not have their speeding recorded as a conviction but may still be required to disclose their attendance to their insurer if asked to do so. Drivers failing to tell their insurer about any speeding convictions they hold risk invalidating their cover and being charged with insurance fraud. 

Comments

Engineer Andy    on 29 April 2020

Glad to see it - some idiot in an Audi TT passed me on the local dual carriageway today and they must've been doing at least a ton.

Add to that that they overtook me with one car length to spare and I hope idiots like this get the proverbial book thrown at them if caught during the pandemic, when the authorities have better things to do.

hissingsid    on 30 April 2020

Since they are willing to take the risk of being caught speeding, these antisocial lowlife are the least likely people to disclose any convictions to their insurers, if indeed they are insured at all.

The worst offenders in my area are bikers riding excessively noisy machines. I don't see any of them laden with essential food shopping, and I doubt that many of them are key workers, so should they be on the road at all?

Edited by hissingsid on 30/04/2020 at 09:40

Pelican    on 2 May 2020

Is anyone’ going to crack down on the increase in noisy motorbikes? I live about 10 minutes walk from a main road, ie quite a long distance, yet lying in my bed at night, I hear screaming motorbikes which sound like a Moto GP race track. Why? Just why do people want to ruin our environment?

   on 4 May 2020

Much as I deplore dangerous driving and risky manoeuvring on public roads I am inclined to think that driving on a motorway which is empty is hardly as dangerous as driving at excessive speed in a populated area. At least on the Mway there should not be side-turnings from which unsuspecting drivers might emerge and all vehicles should be travelling in the one direction. I seem to remember the 70mph limit was introduced as a result of an AC Cobra travelling from London to Birmingham on the then new M1 in about 30 minutes; and not as the result of that vehicle crashing but of alarming politicians by travelling "too fast" for their comfort. The greatest risk, apart from poor maintenance, I can see is that very few drivers other than specialists in the police or formula racing drivers will have the experience of controlling their vehicles and assessing braking distances at such high speeds.




JJFranco    on 6 May 2020

Much as I deplore dangerous driving and risky manoeuvring on public roads I am inclined to think that driving on a motorway which is empty is hardly as dangerous as driving at excessive speed in a populated area. At least on the Mway there should not be side-turnings from which unsuspecting drivers might emerge and all vehicles should be travelling in the one direction. I seem to remember the 70mph limit was introduced as a result of an AC Cobra travelling from London to Birmingham on the then new M1 in about 30 minutes; and not as the result of that vehicle crashing but of alarming politicians by travelling "too fast" for their comfort. The greatest risk, apart from poor maintenance, I can see is that very few drivers other than specialists in the police or formula racing drivers will have the experience of controlling their vehicles and assessing braking distances at such high speeds.



You're absolutely right of course.



Think of the 'Cohan's Moral Panic'/'Plastic Morality' brigade's differing reactions to these two sentences;



"I was doing 130 MPH on the M6 at 8pm. It was good weather and the road was empty."

"I was doing 130 MPH on the autobahn. It was good weather and the road was empty."



The 70 MPH law was designed for cars with 1950s suspension, four drum brakes, cross-ply tyres, and drivers who weren't used to speeds much higher than 40. So-called "stopping distances", set decades ago, bear no relation to the distance that it actually takes a 'modern' car to stop. And IN REALITY, politicians rarely create laws to 'protect' the populus, not for a very long time, unless the legislation is, (coincidentally), good for a Daily Mail headline, the REAL 'concern'.



Not sure about Class1/2, (myths aside), as there's only so much 'very high speed' work that can be done in a real environment, (maybe after years of real-world situations...) and F1 cars are so far removed from road vehicles that the experience would be irrelevant. I have I.A.M. and a Motorsport Competition License amongst other things. I do however, agree that 'experience' is entirely relevant, but I always consider experience to be the most worthwhile if it is gained from exactly the same situation, or as near as is possible. For instance, a German who drives each day on an unrestricted autobahn at three figures would be much better placed IMO.



Makes little difference to me personally as I'm rarely in a hurry.



As for the (lovely) insurance companies, there are those brave souls fighting to help us all, and one or two helping themselves.

SteveTTT    on 4 May 2020

I don’t have personal experience but didn’t it used to be the case that insurers allowed you one SP30 without penalising your premium?

MarianPenny    on 5 May 2020

Insurance up by a third? Mine went up nealry 40% this year and I don't speed (no need to anyway), not had any accidents: in fact I've only driven the car at all for about 6 or 7 months of the 12!

Paul Jenkinz    on 5 May 2020

you should never accept an auto renewal on your car insurance.. insurance companies do not ever reward you for loyalty... shop around when your insurance is due try gocompare or confused,com if you are a safe driver consider raising your excess a little this can bring your premium down just be aware though that if you do have to make a claim you have to pay that excess if you do not use your car to go to and from work make sure you tick the social domestic and pleasure box only as the commuting bit puts quite a lot on your premium but only if you dont use it to go to work also i have found that in most cases comprehensive insurance seems to work out cheaper than tpft so check both levels of cover if you drive an expensive car then fully comp is a must anyway as 3rd party only covers the other drivers car not your own

GTD 184    on 5 May 2020

The same here!......it appears insurance companies are a law unto themselves where increases in premiums are concerned!

Johnno431    on 5 May 2020

50mph in a 40 zone would get you 3points and now a 30% increase in your insurance premium !
These insurance companies never tire of dreaming up excuses to hike premiums !!

Ageing Geek    on 5 May 2020

Well - - it's easy to avoid the 30% hike...

Obey the speed limits!

Rob Whitmarsh    on 6 May 2020

That story about the 70mph limit being introduced after a top racing driver, Jack Sears, testing an AC Cobra prior to that year's LeMans race did 185 for quite a short distance, only a few miles, on the M1 in 1984 is a complete myth. It took place at 4am on a deserted motorway, so the story is partly true, but it wasn't a factor in limiting speeds. The limit was brought in after a spate of pile-ups in a foggy spell on the same road in the spring of the following year, the Police asked for a nationwide speed limit to calm things down countrywide, though I think we'd all agree that even 70mph in foggy conditions is highly dangerous.

Rob Whitmarsh    on 6 May 2020

That story about the 70mph limit being introduced after a top racing driver, Jack Sears, testing an AC Cobra prior to that year's LeMans race did 185 for quite a short distance, only a few miles, on the M1 in 1984 is a complete myth. It took place at 4am on a deserted motorway, so the story is partly true, but it wasn't a factor in limiting speeds. The limit was brought in after a spate of pile-ups in a foggy spell on the same road in the spring of the following year, the Police asked for a nationwide speed limit to calm things down countrywide, though I think we'd all agree that even 70mph in foggy conditions is highly dangerous.

Rob Whitmarsh    on 6 May 2020

Sorry, clicked twice by mistake, mods please delete one of the posts.

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