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PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2012 12:22 
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:gatso2:BBC News UK:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-20328860


Drivers who attend a speed awareness course instead of taking a fine and points on their licence may see their insurance premiums increase.

The BBC has learned that Admiral is treating it as if it were a conviction, even though the police do not.

The insurance group says its statistics show that drivers who have attended a course, pose a higher risk.

The Association of Chief Police Officers say Admiral's stance could harm efforts to improve road safety.

Although a speed awareness course is a replacement for penalty points, it does not change the fact that the person involved has committed a speeding offence”

Admiral Insurance

A spokesperson for Admiral told the BBC's 5 live Investigates programme: "Although a speed awareness course is a replacement for penalty points, it does not change the fact that the person involved has committed a speeding offence."

"Our claims statistics show that drivers who have committed a speeding offence could be a higher risk than drivers who do not commit speeding offences.

"This means that people attending a speed awareness course are more likely to make a claim and we price these risks accordingly," the company said.

The increase in Admiral's premiums comes despite assurances from some police forces and councils that attending a speed awareness course does not affect insurance policies.

Cumbria Constabulary's website says: "By attending the speed awareness course you... retain your current insurance premium."

The website of South Yorkshire Police says: "Attendance on a course would have no impact on the driver's insurance premium."

Substantial increase

The BBC has also spoken to drivers who were told by their course instructor that attendance would prevent their premiums increasing.

According to several drivers, the promise that insurance premiums will not increase is a key factor in their deciding whether to attend a speed awareness course - even though they are often more expensive than the standard speeding fine of £60.

However, the programme has learned of a number of cases where drivers have seen their annual premiums go up by hundreds of pounds as a result of going on a course.

One driver in his 20s told the BBC his policy rose by £300 after informing insurance company Elephant - part of the Admiral group - he had been on a speed awareness course.

Another Elephant customer, Graham Taylor, from Oxfordshire, says his premiums rose by £80 after telling the insurer he had attended a course.

Paul Gemetta, from Hersham in Surrey, was caught speeding earlier this year and also opted to attend a course, rather than have points added to his licence.

"I thought it would be better to go on a speed awareness course, partly because I had not done any formal driver education for a long time," he told the BBC.

"It avoided me having any points and... on the course there was a very strong implication that insurance premiums wouldn't go up as a result of attending the course," Mr Gemetta said.

However, his renewal quote was £60 higher after completing the course - the same increase charged to Craig Wright, from Prestwich, another driver contacted by 5 live Investigates.

Admiral says it considers attending a speed awareness course as information relevant to pricing an accurate premium and told the BBC: "On the list of offences on our website, speed awareness courses are listed. The question is also asked on the phone at 'new business' stage and on our invitation to renew documents."

'Not a punishment'

Police say independent research shows speed awareness courses are very effective in making people think about the way they drive.

The Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo) say the insurers' new policy could harm the purpose of the courses.

With no incentive to avoid increased insurance premiums, police fear drivers may opt to pay a fine instead and reject the courses.

Acpo's lead on roads policing, Deputy Chief Constable Suzette Davenport, told the BBC that going on a course is "not a punishment".

"We would argue that this is about improving road safety and therefore reducing risk, so it is a real concern to us," Ms Davenport added.

"I've had many letters come to me that say 'this was a really good course, I will do things differently' - if people are doing that then that is reducing the risk.

"I think therefore it is unfair that insurance companies are loading premiums. It's not appropriate."

Speed awareness courses are offered throughout England, Wales and Northern Ireland, but not in Scotland. In 2010, 447,724 people completed a speed awareness course and that increased to 772,430 in 2011.

An independent survey, commissioned by Acpo, of more than 2,000 people who had taken a speed awareness course, found that 99% of drivers claimed to have changed their behaviour as a result of attending.

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2012 15:29 
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It's obvious that Insurance companies have the same knowledge of road safety as the average BRAKE supporter..."speed kills" and that's the end of it...driver education and training means for nothing in their eyes...of course they could just be demonstrating what i have said for years...Insurance companies are nothing but leeches, out to bleed us as dry as possible.

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My views do not represent Safespeed but those of a driver who has driven for 39 yrs, in all conditions, at all times of the day & night on every type of road and covered well over a million miles, so knows a bit about what makes for safety on the road,what is really dangerous and needs to be observed when driving and quite frankly, the speedo is way down on my list of things to observe to negotiate Britain's roads safely, but I don't expect some fool who sits behind a desk all day to appreciate that.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2012 17:41 
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Possibly as drivers become aware that being loyal gets penalised,so they become "brand new customers" , the insurance companies need to top up the funds for the shareholders meeting.

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lets bring sanity back to speed limits.
Drivers are like donkeys -they respond best to a carrot, not a stick .Road safety experts are like Asses - best kept covered up ,or sat on


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2012 17:59 
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IMO this is completely illogical.

These courses should be considered training to improve driver skills. So, is training now a negative? Will IAM members be especially penalised?

I have recently been on a skid pan training course. Will I be more dangerous now?

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2012 21:44 
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Quote:
I have recently been on a skid pan training course. Will I be more dangerous now?


I once read somewhere where some bright spark was saying, that people who have skid pan training would be worse drivers, because their newfound confidence would cause them to have more accidents (or some similar cobblers)..sounds like a BRAKE analogy that the only good driver is a dumbo who never exceeds 20MPH and drives 5 miles a week.

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My views do not represent Safespeed but those of a driver who has driven for 39 yrs, in all conditions, at all times of the day & night on every type of road and covered well over a million miles, so knows a bit about what makes for safety on the road,what is really dangerous and needs to be observed when driving and quite frankly, the speedo is way down on my list of things to observe to negotiate Britain's roads safely, but I don't expect some fool who sits behind a desk all day to appreciate that.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2012 23:07 
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graball wrote:
It's obvious that Insurance companies have the same knowledge of road safety as the average BRAKE supporter...



On the other hand, insurance companies have the actual statistics on accident rates and it seems they are saying that people learn nothing from the speed awareness courses.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2012 08:55 
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This is the quote from Admiral:

Quote:
A spokesperson for Admiral told the BBC's 5 live Investigates programme: "Although a speed awareness course is a replacement for penalty points, it does not change the fact that the person involved has committed a speeding offence."

"Our claims statistics show that drivers who have committed a speeding offence could be a higher risk than drivers who do not commit speeding offences.

"This means that people attending a speed awareness course are more likely to make a claim and we price these risks accordingly," the company said.

You can see that this contans some very dubious logic.

Note that they use the word "COULD" above which implies that they actually have no evidence. Their claims statistics can only show a relationship between claims and those having received points for speeding. They have then assumed that people opting to attend awareness training fall into the same category. It may well be that those opting for training are more conscientious and careful than others.

Does anyone know if you are obliged to tell your insurance company if you attend one of these courses? Doesn't taking one of these courses result in your transgression being effectively ignored?

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2012 11:52 
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malcolmw wrote:
IMO this is completely illogical.

These courses should be considered training to improve driver skills. So, is training now a negative? Will IAM members be especially penalised?

I have recently been on a skid pan training course. Will I be more dangerous now?



No, IAM members shouldn't be especially penalised. IAM membership promises cheaper insurance.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2012 13:01 
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Just read the BBC article in full- I note that the police deplore the attitude of certain insurance companies . Cynical me wonders if it's about safety ,or the fear of loss of income ( IMHO the thing SACwere desigbned to do ,under the guise of safety) . :?

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Drivers are like donkeys -they respond best to a carrot, not a stick .Road safety experts are like Asses - best kept covered up ,or sat on


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