I’m intrigued by the publicity around the decision by motor insurance brokers, Swinton (no press release yet on its site), that driving licence points will no longer automatically contribute towards insurance premium calculations.
Meanwhile, Autocar reports that the Green party in London aims to introduce 20mph speed limits throughout London. In which case, even more people could end up with points on their licences (and potentially damage vehicles that frankly aren’t designed to continously run at such low speeds).
What is the message conveyed about road safety and speeding? Are points no longer a sufficient indicator of poor risk motorists (or is this a good marketing ploy by Swinton)?
Does reducing congestion mean that lower speed limits need to be imposed to counter more freely flowing traffic?
If there are millions of motorists who now have points on their licences, is this devaluing their use as a behaviour modification approach? Or if you are verging on losing your licence, are you likely to be more cautious on the roads?
I had a discussion with an insurance company earlier this week regarding increased premiums for business driving. Apparently this is because it is assumed business driving involves travelling to new places which is a greater accident risk than driving the same route to work every day. But doesn’t routinely doing the same journey make us complacent whereas on unfamiliar roads we’d be more attentive?
I don’t know whether relevant data is collected, but it seems to me that insurance and risk management relies on a bit of data, a bit of supposition, a bit of marketing and an eye on the competition.
The other thing I find bizarre about our current car insurance system is that although good drivers build up no-claims discount, this doesn’t extend to a second car, which have to build up an additional NCD. Why do the rules sometimes apply to people and sometimes to cars? Seems to me that the insurance companies make things up to suit themselves.