The size of any insurance premium is a reflection of how much risk a cover provider believes you might present. This is why young motorists with little driving experience are typically forced to pay higher car insurance premiums, while drivers who have gone for a long period of time without making any claims are rewarded with cheaper policies and bonuses.
Similarly, anyone with a drink-driving conviction will also have to pay more if they want to get insurance. It is easy to see why, given that official figures show that drink-drivers were involved in 15 per cent of all road fatalities during 2011. Anyone taking to the road while intoxicated also faces being banned for 12 months, as well as fine of up to £5,000 and a criminal record.
Convicted drink-drivers will therefore inevitably be viewed as a higher risk by insurers than law-abiding motorists, so they will charge much higher premiums once they are allowed to get behind the wheel again. That’s assuming they are willing to insure them at all.
As a result, it might be necessary for these people to go to a company that offers specialist cover, such as GSI Insurance. This should in no way be seen as a means of getting drink-drivers off the hook – they have to live with the consequences of their actions and specialist policies for convicted motorists still cost more than a standard alternative for those with a clean licence.
But it is a fact that insurance providers often look at a person’s past without considering the future, with little thought given to the possibility that a person may have changed their ways. So drink-drivers need to take steps to prove this in a tangible way, so taking part in a drink-driving rehabilitation course will certainly work in their favour.
According to Drinkdriving.org, many studies have demonstrated that drink-drivers tend to learn from their mistakes, with a relatively small number going on to reoffend. So actively working to show insurers that you are one of those who has learned their lesson could help to reduce your premium.
Car insurance providers consider all sorts of factors when determining the level of risk a driver may present, regardless of whether they have a conviction or not. For instance, the age and driving experience of a motorist can be crucial, as can the crime rate in the places in which they work and live.
Anyone with a drink-driving conviction could therefore benefit from working to address any issues they might have control over, such as making sure their car is kept in a secure location like a driveway or garage if it is not being used. Investing in security for the vehicle, such as a car alarm, might also be a good idea.
Simply put, drink-drivers need to show a specialist insurer that they are worth offering a reduced premium to. Otherwise, they could find themselves paying hundreds of pounds extra if they ever want to take to the road again – even if they have genuinely learned their lesson.