Providers of both commercial van and personal car insurance have begun to refuse to cover drivers that have been caught using a mobile while driving, even if it is a first-time offence, industry experts recently warned.
Eight insurers were recently surveyed by the AA, with the motoring organisation discovering that fully half of them would raise a driver’s rates by almost 20 per cent for being awarded three penalty points for the offence. However, the other half indicated that motorists that engage in such behaviour are such poor insurance risks as to refuse to offer them cover at all, the AA found.
Industry experts say that other insurers may be even more heavy-handed. In addition to refusing to provide a quote, there could be many insurance providers willing to raise rates by as much as 50 per cent in order to cover the increased risk in insuring someone convicted of using their mobile whilst behind the wheel – and there are other offences, such as speeding, which can trigger massive rate hikes as well, with the AA finding that seven out of the eight insurers it surveyed stating that even the most minor of speeding violations would lead them to increase an offender’s motoring costs.
The average rate hike for a speeder was found to be 9.3 per cent by the AA. However, other insurers surveyed independently indicate that this figure may be much too conservative, as one insurance provider stated that a single speeding conviction would prompt a rate increase from 10 to 20 per cent alone.