It’s not easy to get car insurance after a driving ban, but it is certainly possible.
Have you been convicted of a motoring offence? Car insurance after a driving ban can be an ordeal to get and it can feel like you’re being punished twice. When the ban is up you’ll probably feel like you’ve paid your dues and be keen to get back on the road as soon as possible.
But getting car insurance after a driving ban is not so straightforward: insurance companies see you as a high risk and are reluctant to take your custom or if they will, expect much higher premiums for the pleasure.
Ensure you are not paying over the odds by reading our guide to best value insurance after a driving ban.
- How easy is it to get insurance (after a ban)?
- What’s the legal position? (what you have to tell the insurance company)
- How to get car insurance after a driving ban
- Useful sources of information
- Fixed Penalty Notices and points on your licence
The good news is that it’s not easy but far from impossible.
There are plenty of specialist insurers out there who will want your business, however serious the driving offence.
Your previous insurer may be prepared to offer you an insurance renewal (probably at an increased premium) but this is more likely if the offence is at the less serious end of the spectrum.
Conviction severity is certainly a factor – you are likely to find it easier to get insurance if you were banned for speeding than for drink driving.
There’s something called ‘good faith’ which is a duty that you have to disclose all material facts to the insurance company.
- changing the premium offered,
- their decision whether to cover you
- or the details of settling a claim.
These are facts which you should reveal even if you are not asked specifically about them.
Convictions which are unspent are classed as material facts.
This area is governed by the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 which sets out how long it takes for a conviction to become ‘spent’ (like expired).
- For a driving ban this is usually the length of the ban,
- but if there is an accompanying fine (which there inevitably will be) then it’s five years from the issue of the fine.
- Once the conviction is spent then you have no obligation to disclose it. So five years after you have received a fine then (if you have no subsequent convictions) you are within your rights to answer no if asked about whether you have any previous convictions.
This is an ambiguous and slightly confusing area. The Consumer Insurance (Disclosure and Representations) Act 2012 changed this situation. It has put the onus on the insurer to ask the right questions, rather than the customer to provide the right information. Handy.
1. Prepare yourself
Ensure you have the correct conviction code (for example, SP50 for motorway speeding) to hand and full details of the dates and circumstances of the offence(s), as well as when you were convicted. If it was a ‘totting up’ ban (i.e. you received 12 points but over a period of time) then you’ll need to provide details of the individual offences. Accept that the process may take some time. Many of the online comparison sites (like our car insurance with Confused.com here) will not offer online quotations if you have any motoring convictions, especially a ban. You will probably need to talk to someone and offer a full explanation of your circumstances.
A mainstream insurer is more likely to cover a convicted driver if there’s a previous relationship with that individual. So the first sensible move is to try your former insurer, particularly if you had a good record with them before/ were with them for some time. These are all factors insurers are likely to take into consideration when deciding whether to insure you and for how much. Many of the large insurers prefer not to cover drivers with a ban on their record.
3. Use the specialist resources available
- The British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) offer a helpline to help you find a suitable broker. The number is 0870 950 1790.
- UNLOCK (The National Association of Reformed Offenders) has complied a very useful list of convicted-driver friendly insurers. It can be downloaded here. Most of the specialist companies tend to be brokers (where they check lots of companies’ insurance to find the best deal) rather than insurance companies, but this probably works in your favour as it may save you some leg work. This may well be a cheaper option than trying to get insured by one of the market leaders.
4.Do a search online
Try a google search for ‘convicted car insurance’ or ‘driving ban insurance’. You could come up with a few gems.
1. Don’t accept the first quote you receive
2. Consider non-mainstream insurers (specialists)
3. Invest the time and it should pay off – like with many money-saving activities.
UNLOCK have lots of information on their website.
If you feel that you are being treated unfairly because of your record then the Association of British Insurers (ABI) has issued guidelines to insurers this year about how to deal with people with convictions. These can be downloaded via their website.
Even if you haven’t been banned you have a responsibility to tell your insurer if you have any points on your licence.
Penalty Notices (when you accept a fine and points without going to court) are unlikely to make finding someone to insure you difficult but they may increase your premium slightly.
Even if you are mid-term with an insurer you should tell them about a penalty notice. If you don’t and it comes out later, it could affect a claim you want to make.
it can be a frustrating process but, with patience and depending on how serious the offence, you should find a reasonable deal.
On a positive note, once you have your new insurance in place you will be on your way to creating a fresh history.
If you’re careful to keep a clean record, after 3 years the ban will be considered a lot less significant and your premiums should come down. After 5 years it’s effectively irrelevant (unless you served a custodial sentence).
Getting post-convicted car insurance is less painful than it can initially seem.
photo credit: CheapFullCoverageAutoInsurance