Q. I was recently caught speeding and, rather than have penalty points endorsed on my driving licence, attended a speed awareness course. Do I have to inform my insurance company?
A. The answer to this question depends upon the terms of your insurance policy and you should read it carefully. If you are only asked to disclose convictions or fixed penalties then there is no need to mention your speed awareness course as it is neither. However, some insurance policies will refer specifically to speed awareness courses or include a general clause about any speeding offences irrespective of the disposal.
If you fail to disclose a course that you were obliged to disclose, this could invalidate your insurance policy. This could leave you out of pocket in the event of an accident and at risk of prosecution for driving without insurance – an offence which carries a hefty fine and penalty points or a possible disqualification from driving.
Whether your insurance premium will increase following disclosure of the speed awareness course will depend very much upon your insurance company. Some companies will hike premiums as they treat a speeding driver the same whether he receives penalty points or attends a course and increase his premium. Other companies may choose not to raise premiums as they take the view that a driver is likely to be safer on the roads after attending a course.
Sarah Dunne, Associate