Road Safety News

Drivers keeping penalty points ‘secret’ from their insurer

Tuesday 16th May 2017

23% of motorists did not inform their insurer the last time they received penalty points on their licence, new research conducted by RAC Insurance has found.

RAC Insurance says ‘as many as 2.8m drivers’ have points on their licences, which means around 650,000 drivers may be putting themselves at risk of their insurance policy being declared invalid, should their insurer discover the information they have on record is not true.

However, the RAC says the problem could ‘be far greater’ as 18% of those surveyed said they would not inform their insurer if they were to receive penalty points, which could equate to nearly 7m drivers.

10% of those surveyed also claimed to know of someone who had incurred penalty points themselves and then got their partner to take them instead.

52% of those questioned claim not to have had any points on their licence for more than 21 years - of those that did, 90% said they had acquired points as a result of speeding.

Mark Godfrey, RAC Insurance director, said: “It is the duty of every driver to inform their insurer of any circumstance that might affect the contract they have with them, both during the insurance term and at renewal. This includes making sure every piece of information they provide when completing an insurance application is correct.

“Not declaring penalty points is a serious matter as it puts drivers at risk of holding invalid insurance as well as potentially incurring substantial penalties from the police, or even a prosecution.

“If someone who had not told their insurer about receiving penalty points were to be involved in an accident they may be given additional penalty points, an unlimited fine and/or be disqualified from driving. The police could even seize and potentially destroy the uninsured vehicle.”



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It's not just penalty points, it's collisions as well. Or fall offs when it comes to motorcycles. If, say, someone with an Advanced Rider Qualification has such an incident it would not be in their interest to inform their insurer, particularly when they may lose not only that discount but some further discount in their no claims bonus.

Should it not also be the case that if one has to admit to speeding to go on a speed awareness course then that should also be recorded by the insurance company, but no one does it and the insurers do not make an issue of it. Why is that?
Bob Craven Lancs

Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

The insurer asks for the offence code - in addition to the amount of points applied. It is normally the offence code, not merely the amount of points endorsed, that ramp up the insurance premium.
David Weston, Corby

Agree (1) | Disagree (0)

If points are declared, does anyone know if the insurer would make a judgment based on the offence, or is it black or white? Three points for an illegal tyre for instance, does not necessarily make for a risky driver.

If I was going to be given a lift by a relative stranger and they admitted to having points on their license, I'd want to know what offence they were for. Speeding? I'll walk thanks!
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

Agree (1) | Disagree (5)

As DVLA are apparently already allowed to supply information they hold on drivers to private enterprises, could they not supply to insurers, on demand, the conviction history of drivers? Gets around the problem.
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

Agree (5) | Disagree (0)

I do not understand the logic whereby insurance companies increase premiums of people who have penalty points. Surely those with penalty points will drive more carefully and thus be a smaller insurance risk, whilst those without points may, in fact, be greater insurance risks because they do not have the incentive of points to make them drive carefully.
Robert Bolt Saint Albans

Agree (3) | Disagree (13)

The temptation to withhold information from Insurance companies in general is very common. With regards to vehicle insurance, there is a feeling about with the general motoring public that drivers are being “stitched-up” by the loading applied to premiums. The insurance system is far too opaque, biased towards the insurer and simply not fair to the average customer. Whilst it is foolish to withhold information from insurers, there is much insurers can and should do to make their business more transparent. Time for insurers to rebuild trust with their customers?
Pat, Wales

Agree (11) | Disagree (1)