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Having points on your license - more than just a fine

Motorbike insurance premiums are calculated on a huge number of different factors and one of which that can have a great impact is driving licence endorsements.

A motoring conviction might influence a motorbike insurance underwriter in his or her assessment of the risk and calculation of the final bike insurance premium. Taking penalty points or driving bans into consideration depends on when the conviction occurred, the frequency with which they occurred, if there is more than once offence and the severity of the offence.

Insurers know that there is a connection between the number of speeding convictions a person may have and their likelihood of making an insurance claim, so riders with speeding convictions are likely to face higher premiums until their driving record improves.

Generally insurers categorise motoring convictions into four sections and a speeding endorsement would be seen as a minor conviction. Other such minor convictions can range from not ensuring good maintenance of your motorcycle – a CU30 endorsement would be incurred for using a vehicle with defective tyres, to gaining points for driving without wearing spectacles – a MS70 endorsement would be incurred for driving with uncorrected defective eyesight. Even though these offences are of the minor nature, your motorcycle insurance would still generally increase.

Motoring convictions are material facts that must always be disclosed at the time of a motorbike insurance quotation and relate to a moral hazard. A moral hazard applies to insurance as they relate either to the insurance history of the policyholder or to his personal history or attitude.

Failing to stop and give particulars after an accident, an AC10, driving without due care and attention, a CD10, or using a vehicle which is uninsured, an IN10, are all deemed to be highly rated as a moral hazard but generally would only incur points on a singular basis rather than a ban.

As the severity of the endorsement increases, a driving ban would be awarded and this usually applies to careless driving offences, dangerous driving offences, disqualified driver offences and theft or unauthorised taking offences. Drink driving convictions are taken very seriously by insurers. Convicted riders returning to the roads may face difficulty in obtaining bike insurance and will certainly have to pay far higher premiums than before their conviction. These higher premiums can well last for a number of years.

Apart from the one off major convictions that will result in an immediate ban, there is also a totting up provision where a rider can be disqualified if he/she accumulates twelve penalty points within a three year period. Ultimately, a rider who accumulates four minor speeding offences over three years will face a similar increased motorbike insurance premium as that of a convicted dangerous or drink driver.

With increasing use of speed cameras and stricter penalties enforced by the courts even careful drivers risk totting up points.

Under the New Driver Act, if a person has passed their motorcycle or car test on or after 1st June 1997 and incur six or more penalty points within the first two years of passing the first test, their driving licence is automatically revoked. This includes any penalty points you had prior to the test which are still valid. To obtain a new licence, you would have to re sit a test as a learner driver. This type of driving disqualification would also have an impact on your bike insurance premium.

In summary, more than two million motorists' driving licences will be endorsed with penalty points over the next twelve months. Should it be their first minor offence, Insurers will probably be quite lenient, however as they increase in numbers and severity, the insurers will definitely apply a loading thus ensuring higher motorbike insurance premiums for you.

Avoid all motoring convictions and get cheaper bike insurance.

Posted on 11th September, 2008