If you break the laws of the road you’ll get points on your licence. And if you get points on your licence, you have a legal obligation to tell your car insurance providers.
But how long do you have to declare points for insurance? What will happen to your insurance once you’ve told your provider? And what happens if you don’t declare your penalty points?
This blog is your essential guide to penalty points and car insurance.
Penalty Points – How Do They Work?
When you commit an offence on the roads, police can add penalty points to your licence.
How many points for speeding and other offences?
The number of points you get depends on your specific offence. Speeding can land you with 3 to 6 penalty points. You can get up to 10 points on your licence if you fail to stop after an accident. And if you drive “without due care and attention” – for instance, if you drive while using your mobile – you can get up to nine points on your licence.
You’ll find a complete guide to various offences and their associated penalties Gov.uk site.
How long do points stay on your licence?
These points generally stay on your licence for four years following the date of the offence. But points gained for more serious offences, such as those that involve drink-driving, and those that result in a death, will stay on your licence for 11 years following the date of the offence.
How many penalty points to suspend a licence?
You can’t just build up penalty points indefinitely. If you get 12 or more penalty points on your licence in a three year period, you could be banned from driving for at least six months. You’ll probably have to apply for a licence and take a test again, too.
And that’s what penalty points are all about. They act as an indication on how safe and reliable you are as a driver. The more points you have on your licence, the more of a liability you are to yourself and to other road users. That’s why drivers who build up too many points can be disqualified from driving. Taking these drivers off the road and forcing them to get additional training is safer for everyone.
Obviously, if you’re a high risk driver, you should expect to pay more for car insurance. That’s why you have an obligation to tell your car insurance providers about any points you get on your licence.
How Long Do You Have to Declare Points for Insurance?
You should tell your insurance provider about any points you accrue on your licence as soon as possible.
Traffic offences are only rehabilitated after 5 years. This means that even if the points no longer show on your licence record, insurers may still expect you to declare the conviction, so be careful to check the number of years that the insurer specifies for a driving conviction to be declared on your application.
What happens if you don’t tell your insurer about points on your licence?
If you don’t tell your insurance provider about any points on your licence, they may cancel your policy. After this, you’ll struggle to find anyone to insure you. When getting a new insurance policy, you’ll most likely be asked if you’ve ever had a policy cancelled before. This is a big red flag for insurers. Don’t make it harder for you to get the insurance you need!
And don’t be tempted to give your insurer false or misleading information, either. This is fraudulent behaviour that could land you in a lot of trouble – not least, the cancellation of your insurance policy, and all the problems that will cause.
The risks of not declaring points to your insurer are to great. It’s in your best interests to tell your insurer within days of getting your penalty, and it’s essential that you’re open and honest.
The price you’ll pay is a higher insurance premium. Consider that to be just one more incentive to driver safer in the future!
Last thing: When do points take effect?
Sometimes points stay on your licence from the day of the offence. But sometimes they stay on your licence from the day of your conviction. There could be a considerable distance between these two days.
When telling your insurer about the points on your licence, make sure you know which day to disclose. Once the time period’s elapsed, your insurer will reconsider your premium once more. So if you tell them the wrong day, you could end up paying a higher premium for longer than necessary!
For more information about how penalty points might affect the cost of your insurance, please read your policy wording.