Speed awareness courses are offered to some first time offenders after they are caught driving marginally over the speed limit, and are set to become more commonplace as the speed at which they are offered is increased, but while they may prevent the addition of penalty points on a licence, admitting to having taken one has led to one man having his insurance premiums doubled by insurer Admiral, after he openly gave details of the course.
Under the current system, drivers that are 1mph or 2mph over the speed limit and are facing their first offence, may be given the option of taking a speeding awareness course rather than being given the typical fine and penalty points on the licence. The driver is expected to pay for the course, which is typically in the same kind of region as the £100 fine they avoid, but many drivers opt for the speeding course under the belief that it will prevent their insurance premiums from going up.
However, it turns out, that this could be misguided, as those that declare the fact that they have taken such a course, usually only taken by those that have been caught speeding, means that insurance companies are still aware that the person has been caught speeding. In the eyes of the insurer this makes the driver a greater risk, and it justifies the increase of their insurance premium.
One driver, Declen Pattent, found this out to his detriment. He was offered and took the alternative option of a speeding awareness class, paid £90 to take the class, and attended the morning long session under the belief that he would not suffer a financial penalty when it came time to renew his policy. He even described the course as being informative and helpful.
However, when submitting his renewal, Mr Pattent saw his insurance premium rise from under £700 to around £1,400 to insure his Golf. Admiral have said that whether he took the points or the speeding course is irrelevant, because the fact that he was caught speeding indicates that he is a higher risk, and that Mr Pattent’s premium offer was eventually brought down by around £400 following a number of discounts.