If you are unfortunate enough to have had a conviction, whether or not it was anything to do with motoring, then this is likely to affect the cost of your van insurance premiums. Worst case scenario, you may even find it particularly difficult to get insurance at all from any of the mainstream, household insurance names.
This seems to be an unfair discrimination however. Statistically – and statistics are what many insurance companies rely on to gauge the level of risk – you are more at risk of being involved in an incident with your vehicle and will want to make an insurance claim.
The likely extent of the impact on the cost of insurance also depends on the level of the offence. Let’s take a look at a couple of motoring offences.
Scenario 1: You’ve had an SP30 (Exceeding the Statutory Speed Limit on a Public Road) conviction, which results in 3 points on your licence and will remain on the licence for 4 years. That’s quite a long period of time for a conviction to remain on your licence, especially if you were driving at 39mph in a 30mph limit. Still, that’s how things are at the moment.
Scenario 2: You’ve been convicted of drink driving which, as you can imagine, results in much tougher penalties, including a possible spell in prison and a potential driving ban. These penalties points can stay on your licence for 11 years and understandably so.
For a full list of the different types of motoring convictions, their penalty points and the duration that they will affect your licence take a look at the official government website.
Taking a Speed Awareness Course
In the case of a speeding fine, there is potentially something that you can do to help mitigate the effect of the offence. You may be offered a speed awareness course instead of a fine, which is well worth your while taking as it will prevent any points appearing on your licence and potentially avoiding a hike of up to 30% in the cost of your insurance.
However, these courses are by invitation only and you are unlikely to be offered one if you have been caught charging through a 30 mph limit at 45 mph or more (which most of us would agree is blatant arrogance of the law). Obviously, it would be better not to have exceeded the speed limit in the first place but we’ve all been there at one time or another; all it takes is a momentary lack of concentration. If you’re interested in finding out more information about Speed Awareness Courses, here’s a handy summary.
It stands to reason that the more serious the offence, the more expensive the cost of your premiums are going to be and for a longer duration. Obviously, the longer the points remain on your licence, the longer you are going to be penalised with costly insurance premiums. Unfortunately, even once your licence is spotless again, the spectre of the points may linger and it could be many years more before you ultimately stop paying the price for your misdemeanour.
Common sense tips to lower your van insurance premiums
While the scenarios above are motoring convictions, it is clear that any criminal conviction, motoring or otherwise, is likely to result in a hike in the cost of your van insurance. Here are a few tips to help to lower the insurance for your van if you find yourself in this predicament.
- The bigger or higher the performance of your van, the more expensive it is going to be to insure, whether you have a conviction or not. Buying or swapping to a smaller, less powerful vehicle should reduce the cost.
- Do you need commercial van insurance at all? If the reason you drive a van is not business based but for personal reasons, it might make more sense to get personal van cover which is often cheaper. However, be truthful and don’t under insure your vehicle as this will only land you in more trouble with the law.
- Consider whether you can afford to pay a higher claims excess. This can often help to lower your premiums but the gamble could backfire if you were to make a claim and couldn’t afford to pay the excess. So, do make sure that you only agree to an amount that you can comfortably afford if you needed to.
- If your conviction was for a driving offence, consider taking a Driver Rehabilitation Course. These courses are designed to refresh you on the rules of the road and to help to keep you and other road users safer. The bonus of these courses is that many insurance firms may well reduce the cost of your van insurance.
- Another way to lower the cost of your van insurance is to reduce the amount of miles you do in your vehicle over the year. Simply put, the fewer miles you drive, the lower the chance of being involved in an accident. So, if you normally use your van to do the weekly shop or run family errands, consider whether you can use a different mode of transport instead.
- Above all, trying to stay the right side of the law will help you to bring the cost of insuring your vehicle down. Remember that those pesky points will eventually disappear from your license but reoffending will only add to your woes and reset the clock.
Get some van insurance comparison quotes
As always, it’s a good idea to do a thorough search of insurance quotes before getting an insurance policy for your van, and never more so than when you have additional problems such as being a young and inexperienced driver or you have a motoring or criminal conviction.
The easiest way to compare quotes for van insurance is to use a site such as Compare Van Insurance that specialises in van insurance for drivers of all abilities and ages, whatever individual situation they may find themselves in.
There’s no getting away from the fact that having a previous conviction is going to make finding the right policy for you more difficult, but it’s not impossible. Indeed, there are insurance companies out there, such as this one, that specialise in insuring drivers who have been turned down elsewhere.
Don’t despair, there are companies out there who understand that life moves on and are willing to help find the right policy for you. Above all, you must be honest with your insurance provider so that you get the right policy for your van and for yourself.