Car insurers start penalising speed awareness courses

"Drivers who attend a speed awareness course instead of taking a fine and points on their licence may see their insurance premiums increase.

The BBC has learned that Admiral is treating it as if it were a conviction, even though the police do not."

I would have thought that a speed awareness course would make a person less of a risk?  I went on one and came out knowing a lot more than when I went in.




  • this has been around for at least a year.....they tell you on the speed awe#reness course that some insurers still ask to be informed and will charge extra

  • Serves you right for speeding in the first place
  • Just because you've gone on the 'get out of jail free course' doesn't mean you shouldn't be penalised in the long run.

    Speed kills........fact
  • I was told that I did not have to tell my insurance company, but if I did then it could reduce my premium.

    Not everyone that goes on a driver's awareness course has been caught speeding.  Some companies send all of their staff on them as they feel that ti helps make them better drivers and reduces accidents on business travel.

  • Well, it is up to the courts to penalise drivers, not insurance companies.

    If the Police or a local council deem an offence suitable for dealing with by a speed awareness course, you still pay the cost of a fine, so you are penalised.

    You don't get points, because that Authority (the one that catches you and decides your penalty) thinks the course makes for better drivers in the long run.

    In fact, most insurers won't load a premium for three points anyway, so it's even more of a rip off.


  • i think that's fair enough.

  • Makes sense to me. If you've been caught speeding then you're more of a risk than someone who doesn't ?

    I know someone who did her course last year. This year she got done for doing 98 on the motorway. So clearly not everyone learns from the course.
  • If you have been sent on a speed awareness course, then obviously you have been caught speeding. you are an increased risk. Hence the increased premium.

  • Just another excuse for them to up your premium. I got 3 point & a fine for motorway speeding ages ago & it made virtually no difference to my premuim. Time to get yourself a new insurer!

  • Jason Wintin wrote (see)

    Speed kills........fact

    If you actually look at the (official) figures, fatal accidents caused by exceeding the speed limit are actually fewer in number than deaths from falling down the stairs.

    If it were possible to strip out the deaths caused by 'idiot driving at double the speed limit or more because they think they're Lewis Hamilton they discover they're not because they're suddenly decelerated by a tree', there would be remarkably few deaths in the '34 in a 30 zone/85 in a 70' category.

    The biggest cause of road death is people not paying attention.

    Before anyone goes all emotional on me and tells me I'm wrong, go google the statistics (you'll end up on the national archive site) then look at mortality stats by cause then think for yourself.

    Disclaimer: I'm not saying that road deaths aren't tragic, it's just that if it happens to you, you've been statistically very unlucky, been driving like a bell end, or a passenger in teh car of someone else driving like a bell end.

  • I don;t have much sympathy for people who speed, BUT I don't think this is fair enough. Just seems like the insurance companies finding yet another way to make money off drivers.


  • Speed does not kill, inappropriate driving kills

  • Yep Speed doesn't kill. Hitting  things kills

  • not one of those people who kills someone because they were going too fast thought that they were going too fast at the time...they believed they were in control of the car...until they found they could not stop fast enough

    people often think that they know better than the everyone else....

    the same with drunk drivers....even if they can hardly stand they would still beleive that they are totally capable of driving safely..which is why we have limits..

  • I got caught a few years ago for speeding, turned onto a dual carriageway, sped up and got caught by a speed camera because the speed limit on that stretch of road was 30. Fair enough, my fault for not being aware of the limit there.

    I got offered the chance to do the speed awareness course and I'm glad that I took up the chance.
    The chap leading the course asked some general questions at the start about how long people had been driving, whether they thought they were good drivers and how long it had been since they'd read the Highway Code. Nobody had read the Highway Code properly since they'd passed their tests, which is some cases were quite some time ago.
    The thing about doing the course was that I got up to date with the various speed restrictions that now apply on the roads. I actually think that it would be a good thing for all drivers to have to go on one of these courses every so often, perhaps it should be part of renewing your driving licence.

  • ...but statistically it's less dangerous than staircases, yet we don't have 'hold the handrail' campaign or camera vans from 'stair safety partnerships'. My point is that it's disproportionate.

    2000 road deaths a year in a population of 60+M is insignificant from a statistical point of view (I accept you have the right to be very angry if a loved one is killed by an idiot)

    120000 deaths from smoking related illnesses; smoking is entirely legal; 2000 road deaths, about 500 involving inappropriate use of speed (not necessarily speeding, it can be driving too fast for the conditons, yet entirely legal) and speeding is outlawed. This demonstrates that the government has no perception of risk, yet is in charge of setting measures for my safety; how can they possibly 'know best'?

  • We do have a 'hold the handrail' campaign in work. 

    I don't know of anyone who's died falling down stairs - but I do know of 2 members of my cycling club killed on the roads. 

  • I thought that insurers were doing this because they had statistics that showed people who had been on a speed awareness course were a higher risk than those who hadn't   been caught speeding.    

    That's how insurance works - if you are in a high risk group you pay more - what is the problem ?   It's fairer than say charging the young more - you can't choose not to be 18 but you can choose not to break the speed limit in the first place.    Personally I'm all for charging people who drive like idiots more.

  • Guns don't kill people.

    People kill people

  • With camera vans and fines and everything..?image

    Not paying attention while driving is entirely different from speeding and it's what kills the majority of road casualties (and I would guess a disproportionate number of cyclists) but there's no penalty for not paying attention unless you hit someone, whereas resources have been funnelled into 'revenue camera conspiracy' vans, which can nick people for small indiscretions when there's noone about to kill.

    I've done a speed awareness course (34 in a 30 zone, noone about to kill) and there really wasn't a lot that could be said about speed, most of it was about awareness (and to be fair there were some right hopeless people on the course, like the bloke who was told 3 separate times that the speed limit on a derestricted dual carriageway was 70,  and still insisted it would 'always be 60 to me!')

  • And Cougs, you're a cyclist and hang round with cyclists; if you were an old person and hung round with old people, you'd probably know a few who'd snapped hips/femurs and bled out after a fall... it's a genuine problem.

  • Yeah but if people who do speed awareness courses are a higher risk that at least suggests that speeding (assuming those on courses are more likely to speed than those who are not) is a risk factor.   OK it may not be the speeding - perhaps people who speed are impatient drivers or disregard other laws too - but there is something there that links speeding to accidents. 

  • If insurance companies increase the premium for drivers who get caught speeding, then they should do it for ALL drivers who get caught speeding, surely?

    If the premium is based on risk, and if it has been shown that people who drive faster than the speed limit are more likely to have an accident, then why would they NOT increase the premium?

    Having said that, when I got caught doing 39 in a 30 zone I wasn't give the choice of doing the course and my insurance company didn't increase my premium anyway.

  • I do know FB and Plum ?image

    There must be a link to speed and accidents. The only RTA i've witnessed this year was a guy who hit a lamp post. No idea how - but he was doing about 60mph in a 30  zone. No traffic - perfect visibility.  Had he been doing 30 - then I cant see how you'd have hit it. 

  • ...but it defeats the object of having a speed awareness course, which cost more in terms of time, money and effort than taking the points. It's admitting that people can't be educated into being 'better' drivers (whatever 'better' might mean)

    If I were the sort of driver who accumulated lots of points, I'd now take 3 points every time until the last possible occasion when I could take the course, then use the course as a 'get out of jail free' card; thus the chance of educating me would've been missed.

    Insurance companies are just sore that it now costs £500 to replace a body-coloured wrap-around back bumper and they break at 7mph. These aren't accidents which cause death or serious injury and have shag all to do with road safety.

  • Theres a lot of inflation in these insurance claims anyway - the whole thing is a mess.

    We had to have a replacement car when some speeding twunt wrote ours off in a head on. 

    The cost of the hire car per day was ridiculous - and all of this was being passed on from insurer to insurer. How can it be a fraction of the cost for me to rent a car from Hertz or wherever compared to the might of the insurance industry ? 

  • It's just a matter of time for those two, Cougsimage

    That kind of illustrates my point; if that guy had been doing 35 in a 30 zone, he'd have missed the lamp post too, yet he could have got 3 points for that. Several of our recent local fatalities have been youngsters crashing into trees...and each of them has been on a road where you could quite safely stay on the tarmac at 20mph over the speed limit. If those roads had no speed limit at all, they were still driving too fast. They are just unsafe drivers. All the laws in the world will not influence people like these to slow down, and they're the ones who have the fatal accidents. People doing 34 in a 30 zone when all is quiet aren't going to kill anyone and I reckon if you took idiots, drunks, druggies, the uninsured, stolen cars, emergency vehicles on the way to an incident out of the statistics, the number of deaths caused by 5-10mph over the limit would be tiny.

  • Someone reversed into my Wife's car and caused a minor scrape over a wheel arch, it went in and was repaired, she had a courtesy car etc, the bill came to us, and added up to £3,300 with even a replaced alloy which they could not verify as free from buckling.

    Someone reversed into my Daughters car and did a runner, she had similar damage and took it to get a repair of her own, to save the no-claims disappearing, hers cost £250. Both cars less than one year old, both good repairs. maybe the biggest insurance fraudsters are not on this side of the fence.

  • I don't think people would mind so much if speed cameras were used with common sense.

    If a stretch of road is 30mph...  and goes past a school, I'd be happy to accept a conviction for doing 34mph there.  That would be inappropriate speed - especially in the rain..

    Further down the road, on a completely clear stretch, with good visibility... if I drifted up to 34mph, I would hope that a policeman would  stop me and take into account the conditions and 30+ years of conviction-free motoring before deciding whether a conviction was appropriate. 

    In reality, the "safety" camera is more likely to be located on the straight safe stretch, because it's easier to operate the cameras there, and more likely do business.

    This is why, to me, speeding offences are in some disrepute.  It's the brainless application of the speeding laws, and insurance consequences, that make peope despair.

  • Blimey, didn't know about that one, mate! Sounds like you had a lucky escape! (having said that, he'd not be in my '5mph over the limit' stats, he'd qualify as an idiot for being on teh wrong side of the road)

    My last accident was when a delivery driver backed into my car when it was parked on my drive; I had to have a courtesy car as it took out the light cluster (it was winter and I needed the lights) and it was enormously expensive. The previous five were two rear-ends when I was stationary, one was when someone pulled out on me at a roundabout (it was a really badly-designed roundabout, I had real sympathy for the chap), one someone turned right from a side road straight into my offside (he just didn't look, which was a shame as there was a line of stationary traffic!) and one arrogant tosser in a Wange Wover tried to go straight on in a right turn lane and sideswiped me.

    I really was just minding my own business, I just became a crash magnet for a while image

Sign In or Register to comment.