If you work in the motor trade, you need a motor trade insurance policy. But what happens if you have motoring convictions – or worse, criminal convictions? Can you still get a traders’ policy? Can you still get insurance with points on your licence?
Convictions for motoring or even non-motoring offences can have an impact on your insurance premiums and your ability to get insurance cover.
Our guide explains how to obtain insurance for convicted drivers and what to expect.
Motor conviction codes
There are a wide range of convictions for motoring offences. The bad news for motor traders is that because you spend more time behind the wheel, you are more likely to pick up a fine and points on your licence.
Some of the more common convictions include:
- SP30 – Exceeding a statutory speed limit on a public road
- CD30 – Driving without due care and attention or reasonable consideration for others using the road
- DR10 – Driving or attempting to drive with alcohol level above limit
- DR20 – Driving or attempting to drive while unfit through drink
- DR30 – Driving or attempting to drive then failing to supply a specimen for analysis
- DD40 – Dangerous driving
- CU80 – Breach of requirements as to control of the vehicle, such as using a mobile phone
- DR80 – Driving or attempting to drive when unfit through drugs
Please be aware that this is not a full list of codes, or a list of convictions that are accepted by insurers. Each individual motor trade insurance quote is tailored to your circumstances. However, it is important to know the convictions you have before calling to ask for a quote.
Your conviction code will be displayed on your licence. If you are unsure which offence the code relates to, you can refer to the GOV.UK website for a full list of codes and descriptions.
Getting motor trade insurance with convictions
The good news is that you can still get motor trade insurance if you have been convicted of motoring offences. Just like private motor insurance, it depends on:
- The type of motoring conviction(s)
- The number of convictions
- The number of points on your driving licence
- The overall risk to the insurer
The more points on your licence, the higher the risk might be to the insurer. Of course, you need a valid driving licence to get motor trade insurance, too.
Most convictions will stay on your licence for 4 years, but some more serious convictions will remain on your licence for up to 11 years. Once these convictions are removed from your licence (spent), there is normally no need to declare them, which can improve your chances of getting insurance or reducing the cost of cover.
Criminal convictions can make it more difficult to obtain a motor trade insurance policy. Convictions can vary widely, so please get in touch with us to explain your circumstances, and we will check to see if you are likely to be offered insurance.
In all circumstances, be prepared to pay more for insurance if you are accepted for cover with a conviction on your licence.
Reducing your insurance premium
There are number of steps you can take to reduce the cost of motor trade cover as a convicted driver:
- Keep the value of vehicles in your possession to a minimum. It is not the time to start up a business selling sports cars or luxury vehicles. Just as with private motor insurance, less expensive vehicles are generally cheaper to insure.
- Employ other people to drive for you. Adding other drivers without convictions to your policy can help to keep the cost of cover down.
- Avoid making claims where possible. Claims and convictions together can cause issues for insurers, and make getting motor trade insurance difficult or impossible.
- Trade in lower risk areas. Setting up a sales business in a city centre could be considered riskier than running a service and repair garage in a rural location. Consider the type of trade as well as the location.
- Don’t get any more convictions! This may seem obvious, but being careful and avoiding breaking the law can help to keep your insurance premium lower.
- Do I have to declare my convictions to insurance broker/provider?
Yes, you must always declare your convictions to your insurer or broker. Motoring and criminal convictions are relevant when applying for any type of motor trade insurance, along with any relevant, material facts that relate to your conviction.
- Will I be accepted for motor trade insurance if I have a criminal record?
This depends on the type of convictions, whether you have unspent convictions, and the insurer. You may find one insurance company will offer you a policy you, while another might not. There are no guarantees that you will be accepted for motor trade insurance, but please get in touch with us to discuss your circumstances, and we will do our best to help you.
- How much will my premiums increase because of my convictions?
Because everybody’s individual circumstances are different, it is difficult to say how much your premiums will be exactly. For minor motoring convictions, the increase in premium is likely to be less than it would be for more serious motoring or criminal convictions. In all cases, be prepared to see the premium increase to some extent if you have a conviction.
- Do I need to use a specialist insurance broker?
Using a broker like ChoiceQuote can improve your chances of getting motor trade insurance if you have convictions. That’s because we have access to a range of different insurance companies, some of which are more likely to accept convicted motor traders.