Swinton Insurance Sets The Standard For Penalty Pointed Drivers

Six Pentalty Points +

Drivers with six points or more on their licence looking for insurance could soon be viewed as ‘standard’ rather than ‘non-standard’ says Swinton, the UK’s largest high street insurance broker.

Pointed drivers are no longer automatically penalised at Swinton as a result of the increase in the number of motorists now saddled with penalty points. And the move reflects a change in attitude by the insurance industry as the estimated number of pointed motorists tops 6 million*.

With the 6,000 speed cameras on our roads already catching over 2 million speeders each year, and driving whilst using a mobile phone now costing the driver three points, an unblemished licence is becoming rare.

Swinton announced it had seen a 12% increase in the number of drivers with points looking for insurance during 2006 – and as a result has set up a dedicated unit to deal with this rising demand. Swinton Specialist was launched earlier this year for drivers of imported, modified and high performance motors. The division is now also handling drivers with penalty points, and is already experiencing a high volume of calls.

Patrick Smith, Swinton Chief  Executive, said that the move reflected a major shift in how insurers evaluate driver risk: "It's the law that's changed - not the public.  People are no worse at driving now than they were ten years ago - in fact if anything, they're safer now.  But the person who has six points today is the same person who would have had three points five years ago and a clean licence ten years ago.

"It is important to mention that Swinton is not against speed cameras and we don't condone reckless driving.  We are just recognising that there are a large amount of people being prosecuted for traffic offences that wouldn't have been ten years ago - and it's our job to respond to this shift and accept that points alone can no longer be used as a yardstick for driver evaluation."

Neil Ackinclose, head of Swinton Specialist, explained further: “Over the last few years we have seen a dramatic increase in the number of drivers with penalty points requesting insurance. A few years ago insurers might have assumed thata motorist with six or more points on their license was a reckless driver, but that is no longer necessarily the case.

“A 2006 YouGov survey estimated that 16% of drivers now have points on their license. As that figure continues to grow – with some estimating the actual number of pointed drivers to be in the region of 10 million – insurance providers are having to accept that points alone can no longer be used as a yardstick for driver evaluation.

“Here at Swinton we have set up Swinton Specialist – a dedicated unit to deal with non-standard motor insurance – where drivers with any number of points are treated as individuals. We look at full driving history and aim find a value policy to suit each car owner, whatever the vehicle.”

18 May 2007 Staff

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