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We all know how infuriating it is: you are driving along and you see someone at the wheel of the car, mobile phone clamped tightly to their ear – it's as though the law does not apply to them! Well, you are not the only person to be upset at this flagrant disregard for the law (and safety) as insurers are now cracking down on motorists who are caught using mobile phones by increasing their premiums by up to 60% at renewal time.

In addition, research amongst the top insurance companies indicates that many are also increasing premiums after a first speeding conviction. There has been a lessening by insurance companies of a soft attitude towards minor offences such as speeding, and indeed many actually disregarded the first offence. However, latest research reveals that insurers are now loading premiums by up to a quarter even after the first offence.

One piece of research indicated that twenty year old drivers now suffer the most and are likely to see the cost of cover leap by an average 22% for a three point speeding offence. Those in their 30s can expect a 15% hike and those aged 40 and above can now expect an automatic premium increase of around 10%. So flouting the law can now prove even more expensive.

Mobile phone offenders – and this can attract just three points on a license and a similar fine to speeding - can expect to be punished much more harshly by insurers by up to a massive 60% premium increase, but there also those companies who will refuse to quote at any price. Insurers view the use of mobiles whilst driving as a very serious offence and absolutely unacceptable. Even though it may be treated by the law in a similar way to a speeding fine, insurers are taking a much tougher line.

By using technology to predict risks, insurers have discovered that a driver with one conviction is 40% more likely to claim than his brother with a clean licence and almost half the people with a conviction will claim on their insurance within a year of receiving their points. As their record deteriorates, so the accident rate rises. A driver with two convictions is 18% more likely to claim than a driver with one offence. A driver with three offences is 110% more likely to claim than a driver with two – the hike here is massive as the points add up. The insurance industry is working with the licensing authorities to have direct online access to all driving records to stamp out fraud – so if points are on a specific licence, that is where they stay and people will be unable to 'borrow' other people's licences.

So, this is a rise in premiums which law abiding people will think is absolutely fair. If, however, you are a law abiding citizen and have encountered a huge hike in your vehicle insurance for no reason other than your insurance company has put up their rates, it is time to shop around! Talk to Westhill Insurance Services: as an independent company they will shop around for all your vehicle insurance requirements and will secure the best cover at the best price to suit your needs. By talking with one of their friendly team, you have the chance to explain exactly how you use your vehicle, how much you use it, where it is parked, etc . You may argue that these are all the important things which a comparison site might ask – but with Westhill Insurance Services you get personal service, friendly advice, the chance to ask questions and make sure you are not paying for anything you do not need, a chance to discuss you excess payments and also complete peace of mind should you need to make a claim. You won't get that from an online service!

So, pick up the phone and talk to the professionals at Westhill Insurance Services. If you are driving, please make sure it is safe and legal to do so and if you are at home, then now is the time to make that call – and why not ask for a quote on your home and content insurance too? (And don't forget to include your mobile phone!)

Contact Westhill Insurance Services, today.

Posted on 5th April, 2012