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How a drink driving conviction affects car insurance premiums

The costs of a drink driving conviction
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A conviction for drink driving will almost inevitably lead to a driving ban, but the motorist's troubles do not end there. In addition to a hefty fine, the driver will end the driving ban period with enough penalty points on their licence to bring them within sight of a new disqualification if they commit a further minor offence. This, of course, assumes that they are able to drive at all, which may be difficult because of the problems involved in obtaining car insurance.

Who insures motorists with a breathalyser conviction?

For a driver seeking to get back behind the wheel after a period of disqualification, finding an insurance company may be the first problem. They may find that their former insurer is no longer interested in their business. There are specialist companies and brokers who deal with this kind of business, but they may not be the mainstream names with which everyone is familiar.

What happens to the premium?

In short, drivers must expect a large increase in their insurance premium; probably twice or even three times what they were paying before. The usual factors affecting premiums will apply too, so younger drivers will pay more, and drivers whose conviction involved another offence in addition to excess alcohol will pay the most. If there is any good news, it is that a no-claims discount can usually be factored into the quote.

How can the premium be reduced?

•First of all, it is absolutely vital that the insurer is informed of all the relevant facts, and the driver should be prepared to disclose every detail without waiting to be asked.
•There are a number of online comparison sites which have been set up specifically to deal with this kind of business, so the usual advice about shopping around applies.
•It may well be helpful to consult one of the brokers who specialise in hard-to-find insurance.
•This might be a good time to consider driving a car from a cheaper insurance group.

Are the increased premiums charged to convicted drivers fair?

Perhaps not. It has been said by critics that the increased risk posed by drivers with a drink driving conviction is not enough to justify the extra premiums, and that there is an element of profiteering involved.