Drivers face insurance price hike

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The Independent Online

New laws aimed at curbing dangerous driving could add almost £500 a year to the insurance costs of drivers caught breaking speed limits. Leading insurers raise premiums by up to 300 per cent for drivers with six points on their licences, according to the price comparison service Insuresupermarket.

The warning follows the publication of the Government's latest Road Safety Bill, which proposes that drivers caught speeding at 45mph in a 30mph zone should have six points added to their licence, rather than the standard three-point penalty currently imposed.

"Our research shows that premiums could increase by as much as £476 after one six-point speeding offence," said Richard Mason, a director of Insuresupermarket. "With the old system, most insurers turn a blind eye to three points on your licence, but with six points for a first offence, insurers will hike premiums dramatically."

At Hastings Direct, the most expensive insurer for speeding drivers in the company's survey, a driver paying £240 a year for cover would face an increase in premiums to £717 after getting their first six- point penalty.

The additional premiums would be payable for up to five years at most insurers. Although drivers' licences are cleared three years after the offence is committed, penalty points must be declared to insurers for five years.

Under the new laws, motorists could lose their licences after two speeding offences, which would subsequently cost drivers even more in insurance premiums. The same motorist at Hastings, for example, would pay £856 for insurance following a 12-month ban.

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