When you’re applying for car insurance, any type of unspent criminal conviction needs to be declared, even if it’s not driving related. This allows insurance companies to assess the risk attached to issuing you with a policy. If they do decide to insure you, it can affect your premium.
Not surprisingly, it’s driving convictions that have the most significant impact on the price of car insurance. Reports suggest that drivers caught drunk driving, for example, could end up paying an extra 115% on their car insurance; this increases to 131% for those driving without insurance.
Thankfully, there are at least ten ways those looking for convicted driver insurance can lower their premiums.
Ten Ways To Lower The Cost Of Convicted Driver Insurance
1. Deciding What to Drive
Insurance companies classify cars by groups based on the make, model, engine size, registration date, value and how much it might cost to repair. There are 50 groups; the lower (closer to 1) the group your car sits in, the lower your insurance premiums will be.
This means it’s a good idea to avoid fast cars with high-powered engines if you’re looking for an affordable premium on your convicted driver insurance. If you already own your vehicle, you may not have much choice here. However, if you’re planning on buying a car, or can change the one you drive, you could save yourself money going for a Micraversus a Mercedes.
2. Level of Cover
Once you’ve decided on the car, you’ll need to determine the level of cover:
- Third party only: the minimum cover level required to drive in the UK, it covers the cost of any damage to third parties if you have an accident.
- Third party, fire and theft: covers any third party in an accident plus damage to your vehicle if it’s stolen or fire damaged.
- Comprehensive: covers third parties and you in the event of an accident where you’re at fault.
Generally, third party is the cheapest insurance. However, for convicted driver insurance, this isn’t always the case. The assumption is drivers who have convictions will take out this insurance, so prices are raised, meaning other insurance levels end up being less than third party.
3. Increase your Excess
If you do have an accident, before your insurance company pays out, you’ll need to pay an excess. Some insurance companies set a mandatory minimum for this; others will let you set your own, which is known as voluntary excess. By increasing the amount you’re willing to pay as a voluntary excess, you can reduce the premium for your convicted driver insurance.
Remember, only commit to a voluntary excess you can afford, otherwise you could find yourself without a car.
4. Drive Less
As well as increasing your voluntary excess, it would help if you also reduced the number of miles you drive. The lower your annual mileage, the lower your premium will be. Don’t risk giving your insurance company an unrealistic figure. If you do lie about your mileage and make a claim, having a higher annual mileage could invalidate your claim.
5. Stay Away from Added Extras
When you get a quote for car insurance, you’ll be asked whether you want to add on extras including a courtesy car, legal cover, or windscreen cover. These are all nice to have, but they’ll increase the premium on your convicted driver insuranceand so are probably best avoided.
6. Take a Rehabilitation Course
One of the best ways to reduce your premiums is to have taken a rehabilitation course. These are available for drivers convicted of driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If you haven’t taken a course already, it’s worth speaking to your insurance company to see if they offer a discount if you do.
7. Take Advantage of Technology
One of the risks insurance companies take when issuing convicted driver insuranceis just how careful drivers are on the road. Using technology such as speed limiters, dash cams or telematics (black boxes that monitor and record your driving) are great ways to prove that you are a responsible driver and that your risk is lower than industry statistics might suggest.
They may not be able to reduce your premium in the short term, but in the longer term, the data can be used to help find you a lower rate.
8. Keep Your Car Secure
Where you live can have an impact on how much you pay in car insurance. So does where you keep your car. If it’s kept on the driveway in front of your house, for example, or in a locked garage, your premium is likely to be less than if you park it on the road, where it is more likely to be hit. And, while this can help you get convicted driver insurancepremiums down, it applies to any driver looking for insurance.
9. Make a Lump Sum Payment
If your insurance premium is high, it is probably tempting to pay for it in monthly instalments. However, insurance companies charge interest on this, meaning you’ll end up paying more at the end of the day. If you can afford it, it’s much better, therefore, to make a lump sum payment. If you can’t, think about taking out a 0% purchase credit card so you can pay monthly without the additional cost.
10. Don’t reoffend
The reason you are looking for convicted driver insurance is that you broke the law. Moreover, if those laws were related to your actions on the road, insurance companies will always err on the side of believing you’ll behave the same way again, which is why your premiums will be higher than for other drivers.
Even if you don’t do anything outlined in steps 1 – 9, your premiums will go down over time because your conviction will be older, and your insurance company will see you as less of a risk. They’ll only do this, however, if you don’t have any further convictions.
If you want help sourcing the cheapest convicted driver insurance, then get in touch with MyFirst who specialise in this type of insurance and will search high and low to find you the most affordable and cost-efficient insurance possible.