A simples guide

Drink Driving Insurance – what you need to know

We’ve all seen the drink driving warnings and we all know how tempting it can be to have a drink while we’re out. But with 5,620 drink related accidents in 2014, of which 210 were fatal, there is just no reason to drink and drive.

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Caught driving when over the drink driving limit

Being caught driving when over the drink driving limit has serious implications. Depending on the circumstances, you will receive a sentence including one or more of the following:

Penalty points on your licence for 11 years

A driving ban of at least 12 months

An unlimited fine

Depending on how serious the offence, a prison sentence

Drink Driving Insurance

Actions to take on conviction

If convicted, we appreciate that insurance is probably not the first thing in your mind. You may well be facing a driving ban and might consider your insurance irrelevant for a period of time. You must notify your insurer of your conviction. If the vehicle is going to still be on the road but not driven you may be able to change the type of cover you have. If not you will need to obtain a SORN (statutory off road notice.) This can remain in place until you are legally allowed to drive again.

Money

Implications on insurance and tips to reduce the cost

 

Insurers take drink driving offences very seriously. Having a previous conviction or ban is going to have implications for the cost of your insurance when you come to drive again. There are some things that you might be able to do to influence the cost.

Taking a course

During sentencing for a drink driving offence you may be offered the opportunity to attend a drink driving rehabilitation course. The programme runs for 16 hours over, three days, and costs a maximum of £250. Insurers who offer you cover often look favourably on attendance at such a programme. Do note that they can, and do check that you have attended the course, rather than just signing up for it.

Finding an insurer

Some household name insurers refuse to insure drivers with a drink driving conviction as a matter of policy. You will be able to ascertain whether you are affected by this when you first speak to your insurer. If you have a good, longstanding relationship with them and a positive previous driving record, your best option may be to try and stay with your current insurer. As many online portals simply qualify out people with such convictions, you may need to talk to someone to explain your circumstances.

If your current insurer will not insure you, there are a number of specialist insurers who could provide you with cover. You may however, have to accept that your cover is going to cost you a lot more than it did before your conviction.

Always remember

You will probably find that your compulsory excess on your policy is increased as a result of your conviction. Providing it is affordable you could increase your voluntary excess as a way that could help to reduce your premium.

Named drivers

Limiting your policy to specific named drivers may have an impact on the overall cost of your policy, particularly if those named drivers have a good driving record. But make sure they will be driving the car as it could invalidate your policy.

Mileage restriction

Most policies ask you to provide estimated annual mileage. If you’ve got a conviction of this type it will be worth restricting your mileage to the lowest level that you can achieve, as the fewer miles you travel, the lower your policy is likely to be. Just make sure you’re truthful, as your policy could be invalidated if you’ve significantly underestimated your mileage.

Security

Taking other standard measures such as fitting alarms and immobilisers should be considered. In addition, if there is any option to keep the vehicle off the road, on a driveway or in a garage for example, it could help to reduce your premium.

If you’ve been convicted and need drink driving insurance, start comparing today. Remember, you may need to speak with insurers directly to discuss your situation in order to get the best deal.

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