Quarter of drivers hiding penalty points from insurer

Quarter of drivers hiding penalty points from insurer
A “worrying” number of motorists are forgetting to declare, or deliberately hiding penalty points from insurers – potentially invalidating their cover.

Research from RAC Insurance shows almost a quarter (23%) of drivers failed to tell their policy provider the last time they acquired points on their licence.

Perhaps most concerning is that 18% of those surveyed admitted they would not contact their insurer in the event of picking up points, meaning the number facing serious penalties could be well into the millions.

Official records tell us that around 2.8 million drivers hold points on their licences, meaning at least 654,000 are running the risks of withholding pertinent information from their insurer.

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But if the attitudes unearthed in the survey are applied to all UK drivers, we could be looking at as many as 7 million of the 38.5 million full licence holders driving with potentially invalidated, and illegal, protection.

Mark Godfrey, RAC Insurance Director, reminds drivers it is their duty to inform their provider in any circumstance which may affect the contract they hold with them – and this applies not just at renewal time, but as and when points are received.

“Not declaring penalty points is a serious matter as it puts drivers at risk of holding invalid insurance as well as potentially incurring substantial penalties from the police, or even a prosecution,” he said.

“The onus is always on the person taking out an insurance policy to make any incident known that could influence an underwriter in calculating a premium, even if they are not requested to provide such information. This could be a previous claim, a criminal or motoring conviction.”

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Mr Godfrey added that additional points, unlimited fines, disqualification from driving and even destruction of vehicle are other potential repercussions of failing to disclose the correct information. 

As many as nine in 10 respondents say they accrued their penalty points as a result of speeding. Since April 24 this year, drivers have faced tougher sentencing for excessively breaking the speeding limit, resulting in vastly increased fines.

The research also found that one in 10 of those surveyed know somebody who had incurred penalty points themselves and then illegally got their partner to take them instead – an offence punishable by a prison term.

Copyright Press Association 2017. Motoring News articles do not reflect the RAC's views unless clearly stated.