Motorhome owners are being reminded that receiving a fine for a minor motoring offence could send their motorhome insurance premiums shooting skywards for years. A new survey has suggested that getting the fine is only the beginning. In some cases, the subsequent rise in insurance premiums can leave drivers nursing a bill up to four times as big as the original fine.
The research found that a driver’s first speeding offence could cost four times the typical £60 fine as insurance premiums for the driver may be increased for the following three or four years. However, drivers do sometimes get the chance to take a speed-awareness course which allows them to keep their clean driving licences and reduce the total cost of their offences; it can be invaluable in the long run. Anyone caught using a handheld device while driving can expect a bigger fine. In some cases the survey found offenders had been refused renewal by their existing insurers and they were forced to seek cover elsewhere. This was the case when eight motorhome insurance companies were asked about quotes after the driver had been given a £60 fine and three points on their licence. Four refused to provide cover, while the other four pushed up their renewal premiums by between 15% and 33%, with the average premium showing an increase of 18%.
It is also worth remembering that these offences will stay on a licence for four years, thus bumping up your next three or four yearly premiums. Even worse some police forces have been escalating a mobile-phone offence to a charge of careless or dangerous driving. This offence carries a much heavier penalty. Drivers are also being warned that there are very few insurance companies who are willing to ignore a first speeding offence nowadays. Almost all will penalise a first offence and a second offence will send renewal prices soaring by as much as 35%, with the average increase of 20%. What’s more, five of the eight insurers who took part in the research refused to renew after two offences making it much harder for repeat offenders to find replacement cover. In these circumstances asking an insurance broker to find a policy may be the best idea. The research concluded that these premium increases will remain, but reduce over three years. So a single speeding offence costing £60 may lead to another £200 extra in higher insurance premiums. This makes the £90 charge for a speed-awareness course a much cheaper alternative.