Speed course hits premiums

Choosing a speed awareness course instead of taking points and a fine won't stop your premium from rising, insurance giant Admiral has said.

After admitting this to the BBC, the firm sent PistonHeads a statement that says known speeders should pay more, whether they've got points or not.

“Our claims statistics show that drivers who have committed a speeding offence are, on average a higher risk than drivers who do not commit speeding offences," the statement said.

And that applied to drivers who'd done a course, despite those courses being designed to educate the driver on road safety. "Drivers who commit a speeding offence and then take a speed awareness course are more likely to make a claim than drivers who have not committed a speeding offence in the first place, so we price these policies accordingly," the firm stated.

Our dream speed awareness course
Our dream speed awareness course
We asked them how far back their claims data on this went, but were told that information would be 'commercially sensitive'.

Admiral's policy is to ask drivers whether they've attended a speed awareness course. However a spokeswoman told PistonHeads the firm has no access to official records showing which of their customers has been on a course: "We rely on people telling us," she said.

PistonHeads has discovered that two police websites detailing the speed awareness courses have reacted to the BBC story on 5 Live radio by removing or toning down references claiming that taking the course wouldn't affect premiums.

The South Yorkshire Police site previously said "Attendance on a course would have no impact on the driver's insurance premium." It now reads "...should have no impact...". And Cumbria police has removed the reference to unchanged premiums altogether.

Local police forces have a vested interest in attracting motorists to the courses, which cost more than the equivalent fine but don't attract points. The money raised can be used for local road safety schemes, including funding for speed cameras.

However now there could be an extra cost if you're insuring with Admiral or one of its other firms, including Elephant. "Although a speed awareness course is a replacement for penalty points, it does not change the fact that the person involved has committed a speeding offence," the company said.

We'd be interested to know - have any PHers seen their premium rise after admitting to taking one of these courses?

PistonHeaders are already discussing this here.

P.H. O'meter

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