Van insurance for convicted drivers
Finding cheap van insurance for convicted drivers is not an easy task. Find out what your options are and how to find the right cover for you.
Drivers with a record, whether it’s for a motoring offence or another criminal offence, are likely to be faced with a high insurance bill for their car or van. We’ve looked at how you can find the right policy for you, even with a previous conviction, and how to save on your cover.
What is convicted van drivers insurance?
Convicted driver insurance is van cover for drivers with a previous conviction – either for a motor related offence or something else.
Most insurers won’t have a specific policy for convicted drivers, but will instead offer standard cover with your circumstances in mind. That said, some insurers will refuse to cover you altogether, depending on what your conviction relates to.
There are some providers who offer specialist convicted driver policies, but these may not be cheaper than standard cover elsewhere.
How do driving convictions work for van drivers?
Breaking the law on the road will see you fined by the courts and your driving record endorsed with penalty points. The endorsement can stay on your driving record for four or 11 years, depending on which offence you committed.
The number of points you receive also depends on the nature of the offence. Note that if you collect 12 penalty points within three years, you may be disqualified from driving.
What offences can result in a driving conviction?
There are a variety of offences that can lead to a conviction. These include:
- Drink/drug driving. Also known as a DUI (driving under the influence), a drink driving conviction can result in points on your license, a hefty fine and in some cases a driving ban, or even prison. In the UK, the legal alcohol limit for drivers is four units for men (approximately 1.5 pints of beer) and three for women (approximately one small glass of wine). Driving under the influence of drugs will land you in hot water with the law regardless of how much is in your system.
- Speeding. In the UK, speeding is considered a dangerous driving offence, as it reduces your ability to stop in the case of an emergency. If you are travelling at a speed of more than 10% over the advised limit, then you face the risk of a £100 fine and three points on your license. In some cases, you will be offered the option to attend a speed awareness course, which will result in the possibility of the points on your licence being removed.
- Driving without insurance. You are legally obliged to have at least third party only cover to drive on UK roads, and choosing to drive without insurance is a serious offence. Some people inadvertently drive uninsured, as it’s surprisingly easy to invalidate your insurance without realising it. Either way, being caught driving without valid insurance will mean a mark on your record, a fine, and a minimum of six points on your license.
- Other offences. These include driving without a license, and dangerous driving (like using a handheld mobile phone or driving through a red light). These have varying levels of fines and penalty points based on the severity of the crime committed.
What are the driving penalty codes?
Each driving offence has a unique code and a range of penalty points attached. The exact number of point you are given is dependent on the severity of the offence committed.
Here are some examples from the government’s website:
|Exceeding the statutory speed limit on a public road
|Exceeding the speed limit on a motorway
|Using a vehicle uninsured against third-party risks
|Driving while disqualified by order of court
|Driving without due care and attention
|Driving or attempting to drive with alcohol level above limit
|Failing to comply with traffic light signals
|Failing to comply with ‘stop’ sign
Do I need van insurance for convicted drivers?
You must declare all unspent convictions when you take out an insurance policy. However, you don’t need to take out a specialist policy aimed specifically at convicted drivers.
Some insurers offer a specialist convicted drivers policy, but mostly you’ll just take out standard insurance with your circumstances calculated into the premium and level of cover.
How does a driving conviction affect the cost of my van insurance premium?
When calculating your premiums, insurers evaluate how much of a risk you are likely to be. This means, how likely you are to make a claim and cost them money.
If you have a history of disobeying the law, whether on the road or off it, insurers will be inclined to believe you may do this again and cause an accident. This is why they set your premiums higher. Some insurers may even refuse to cover you altogether.
Don’t despair though – you can find cover for your van, you might just have to look for longer and potentially pay a higher premium.
How much does convicted van driver insurance cost?
The cost of van insurance is a personal thing and is based on a number of personal factors, like your age, location, job and driving experience. Details of your van, like its age, make and model, also have an effect.
The details of your conviction will affect the cost of your insurance as well, as not all convictions carry the same level of penalty.
How do I find cheap quotes if I’m a convicted van driver?
- Compare providers. It’s really important that you don’t run out and buy the first policy you’re offered. Be sure to get as many different quotes as possible and compare both the cover on offer and the cost. Pick the cheapest policy option that still offers the level of cover you want.
- Volunteer to pay a higher excess. An excess is the amount you need to contribute towards a claim. Increasing this amount will bring down your premiums, but make sure you can actually afford to pay the excess in case you need to make a claim.
- Get a black box policy. Providing you’re a safe and competent driver, a black box policy could reduce your car insurance premium.
- Drive less. If you have the option of driving less miles per year, this can reduce the cost of your premiums.
- Improve your van’s security. Keeping your van in a garage or an off-road drive will make the insurer view you as less of a risk for theft claims. Installing extra security features can also help here. Driving a smaller van might also make the insurance company view you as less of a risk, so consider this if you have the option.
- Sign up for driving courses. There may be advanced driving courses you can take to reduce your risk level in the eyes of your insurance company. Certain driving courses can also help you get back behind the wheel in a shorter span of time if you’ve been banned from driving by the courts.
- Only pay for what you need. It may be tempting to add a range of optional extras to your cover (like cover in Europe and legal expense cover), but only take these out if you have a genuine need for them.
Having any sort of conviction on your record is likely to make finding affordable van insurance difficult, but not impossible.
There are certain actions you can take to reduce your premiums, but make sure these are realistic and don’t have a negative effect on your life. Shop around and compare policies to find the best option for your personal circumstances.
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