Attending a speed awareness course may push up the cost of your insurance.
The courses are offered as an alternative to getting a fine and penalty points put on your licence when caught speeding. However, insurers are apparently failing to make the distinction between people who have received points for offences committed and those who have chosen to undertake over 4 hours of additional driver training at speed awareness courses in order to keep their licences clean.
Speaking to the BBC, an Admiral spokesperson said: “Although a speed awareness course is a replacement for penalty points, it does not change the fact that the person involved has committed a speeding offence.”
“Our claims statistics show that drivers who have committed a speeding offence could be a higher risk than drivers who do not commit speeding offences.
“This means that people attending a speed awareness course are more likely to make a claim and we price these risks accordingly,”
Admiral’s stance is in direct opposition to claims made on a variety of police force websites. South Yorkshire Police’s website states: “This should mean that attendance on a course would have no impact on the drivers insurance premium.”
Unlike many insurance price comparison sites, Admiral lists speed awareness courses on their list of offences, allowing customers to obtain an accurate quote more easily. Their spokesman elaborated: “On the list of offences on our website, speed awareness courses are listed. The question is also asked on the phone at ‘new business’ stage and on our invitation to renew documents.”
With insurers bumping up premiums regardless of whether drivers took a speed awareness course or accepted points on their licence, police are concerned that the public will reject the courses. Without the incentive of keeping their insurance affordable, people are unlikely to be willing to give up half a day of their time when they could just pay a fine instead.
Deputy Chief Constable Suzette Davenport, the Association of Police Officers’ lead on road policing described Admiral’s stance as “unfair”, saying: “We would argue that this is about improving road safety and therefore reducing risk, so it is a real concern to us,”
“I’ve had many letters come to me that say ‘this was a really good course, I will do things differently’ – if people are doing that then that is reducing the risk.
“I think therefore it is unfair that insurance companies are loading premiums. It’s not appropriate.”
Image via West Midlands Police.
Last modified: 6th May 2016