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Points or Awareness Courses
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Charles
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 27, 2015 10:01 pm    Post subject: Points or Awareness Courses Reply with quote

Had a very interesting chat with my insurers the other day when negotiating the renewal regarding the impact of points or an Awareness Course on premiums.

The following information comes with a caveat that it may only apply to Admiral, but I wouldn't be surprised if it is an accepted position across the board ...

... apparently, you get a higher loading on your premium if you attend a course rather than taking the points Shocked

The reasoning given to me was that, by taking the points, the insurers feel that the driver is aware of the points hanging over them for three years and so are more likely to pay attention during that period, rather than someone attending the course and walking out the door thinking they can carry on as before.

Of course, this does require the driver to declare the course in the first case but the same applies to points on the licence when asked the question - but then, as they say, failure to declare information may result in being refused a pay-out and refused u=insurance in the future.
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MCB
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 27, 2015 11:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As usual, it is a win-win situation for the insurers every time.

When I retired they increased my premium! I asked why and they told me that as I was no longer working I had more time to go out driving Laughing
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Charles
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 27, 2015 11:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't buy the "win-win" argument, Terry.

In this case, if you take responsibility for your speeding by accepting the points and the ongoing awareness for the next three years then they will penalise you less (or even nothing at all for the first three points) than if you take a course with no ongoing pressure on yourself to continue to conform.

As for increasing the premium, they do this every year. Mine increased by 50% even though I am a year older and wiser with no other changes to my circumstances. After some discussion, this was revised downwards to reflect a general rise in premiums due to increasing costs of repairs) and the cost of living to finish as less than 10% rise. I haven't finally agreed to this but at least I now have a sensible point to compare against with other insurers.
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MCB
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 28, 2015 12:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I cant see why the rise in the cost of living as a reason for increasing the premiums over and above the amount they should be reduced for a clean driving record. If your circumstances have not changed then your premium should be reduced. That is how it used to work. There are millions of cars on the road. So spreading rising costs of repairs over so many premiums should hardly make that much difference. After all, they are not all making claims.

I have had a clean driving record for almost 50 years. I only cover about 4,000 miles per year now. Yet they still find reason to raise my premium by 20-30 each year.

I do agree however, that having points on your licence is likely to make you drive with more care.
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Paulb
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 28, 2015 1:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Given there is absolutely no way for an insurance company to check is X person has been on a Speed Awareness Course, I find it difficult to understand how they could even justify asking that question.

They could also ask if you've got a mechanical engineering qualification as your more likely to keep your car in tip top condition. Or if you've attended an anger management course for which they could load your premium, or how many times you take the bus!
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John_C
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 28, 2015 9:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's only the Admiral group who ask if you've been on a SAC.

If they're saying it loads the premium a bit more than the points (which I find rather odd, because three points tends to make no difference at all) that'll be based on their accident data statistics.
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MarkWG
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 28, 2015 10:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Admiral are out of line with the thinking behind SA courses, & are using it as an excuse to ramp up premiums. Some companies don't even add a premium for minor speed offences, anyway, as it's considered a unlikely that a minor speed infraction will suddenly turn you into a maniac.
The principle for introducing SA was that education is generally more effective than punishment. By "punishing" people for going on one, they negate the whole objective. As stated, you're NOT obliged to inform your insurer if you've attended one, & there's no way they could find out, we don't presently live in a police state. Come renewal, if they ask & the answers yes, & the premium goes up, vote with your wallet & go elsewhere. They'll soon forget to ask when they lose customers...
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BeeEmm



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PostPosted: Mon Sep 28, 2015 1:04 pm    Post subject: Speed Awareness Course Reply with quote

Charles,

The speed awareness course is designed to re-educate a driver. I would argue that I am much more aware than I was previously and as a result of the course, I am now a safer driver. Very Happy
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MCB
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 28, 2015 9:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MarkWG wrote:
As stated, you're NOT obliged to inform your insurer if you've attended one, & there's no way they could find out,

With the freedom of information act you find out pretty much anything these days. Therefore I am sure they could if they wanted. Although it may only come to light if they done some digging during a claim. They can be very sneaky when it comes to making a claim.
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Charles
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 28, 2015 10:27 pm    Post subject: Re: Speed Awareness Course Reply with quote

BeeEmm wrote:
Charles,

The speed awareness course is designed to re-educate a driver. I would argue that I am much more aware than I was previously and as a result of the course, I am now a safer driver. Very Happy

I don't disagree with you. I was simply passing on the information given to me from Admiral
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Charles
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Paulb
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 28, 2015 11:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MCB wrote:
MarkWG wrote:
As stated, you're NOT obliged to inform your insurer if you've attended one, & there's no way they could find out,

With the freedom of information act you find out pretty much anything these days. Therefore I am sure they could if they wanted. Although it may only come to light if they done some digging during a claim. They can be very sneaky when it comes to making a claim.


Even with a FOI request, they're not allowed to pass on personal details of individuals and given that it doesn't stay on any Police record or DVLA record they'd be hard pressed to find out you'd been on an SAC.

Now i've never been offered Points or a SAC and have a clean license, but as part of my driver training I have attended various courses including defensive driving, blue light course and awareness of driving at speed... would I have to say yes even though it was a training course?
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Rolf
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2015 1:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Go on the course, and find another insurer.

You'd be mad to take the points.

You never know when you might pick up some more, so don't take any if you don't have to.

Points are on your history with the Magistrates, courses are not.

Tim

(A Magistrate)
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MarkWG
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2015 9:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MCB wrote:
MarkWG wrote:
As stated, you're NOT obliged to inform your insurer if you've attended one, & there's no way they could find out,

With the freedom of information act you find out pretty much anything these days. Therefore I am sure they could if they wanted. Although it may only come to light if they done some digging during a claim. They can be very sneaky when it comes to making a claim.
I think you may be confusing Freedom of Information with Data Protection. My understanding is that under FOI anyone could legitimately ask how many people attended courses, how many took points instead etc, but under Data Protection, the identities of those individuals could only be kept with their express permission, only they would be able to access it, & it could only be released with their permission. So identifying an individual would be virtually impossible without them realising. I know a number of people who've done courses, & they've never had problems with insurance...
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samuk
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2016 9:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

On my last conversation when attending a course..i was told the info is not shared with insurance companies..

Big money maker for the old bill...and insurance companies also trying to get some off the drivers...

when i last made my claim, a 3 way call was made to the DVLA for licence \ points check, and previous accidents checks
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MarkWG
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2016 11:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My lad is now insured with Admiral - they ask on the form, so he was obliged to tell the truth. However, it's his first policy, so nothing to own up to, anyway. They were still cheaper, just.
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