As Paris Hilton has discovered, possible jail time and huge fines make any form of illegal driving an unattractive mode of travel. The disincentives don’t stop there however. Insurers take a dim view of even three points on your driving licence and being convicted for drink driving could add around £1000 to you’re premium once you have served your ban.
If you give insurers any reason to believe you represent a significant risk, your premium is likely to soar. A drink driving conviction is just about the worst thing you can have against your name, along with bans for other offences such as driving without insurance.
Drink driving is a big problem amongst young drivers with around one in four of all drink driving arrests being made on people aged 24 or younger. With car insurance for young people already expensive, particularly for men, the last thing you need is drink driving ban.
Generally speaking insurers will penalise you for around 5 years after you return to the roads after your ban. If you were banned from driving your Fiesta at age 17 for example you could end up shelling out as much as £10,000 over the first five years back on the road.
And it’s not just drink that causes problems. Over the passed two decades the number of victims from drug drivers has increased 600% according to Zurich Insurance. This increasingly common crime is viewed just as seriously by insurers. If you get banned the cost of getting reinsured is likely to be just as high as if you get banned for drink driving.
Most of us are unlikely to ever encounter such serious problems but with 2 million speeding offences recorded last year the chances are many of us will find ourselves with a ticket to our name. You are legally required to inform your insurance company to changes in your licence such as a three point fine.
And for every three points you receive you are will normally see an extra £20-30 added to your premium. If you find yourself banned following a series of speeding offences it is worth checking the small print of your policy, as some insurers will cover the cost of your court appearances and compensate you for your lack of travel abilities. Don’t expect to see this in the small print of basic policies and it’s not much use to you if you rely on driving to make a living.
The best advice that can be offered is to stay away from drink when driving, as it’s difficult to gauge the level that you are safe to drive at. Stay away from illegal drugs if you want to stay on speaking terms with your insurers and if you are on a prescription be careful to check that you are safe to drive.
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