Sunday 4 December 2016

Failure to tell insurer about road penalties will cancel out claims

Published 11/08/2011 | 05:00

DRIVERS who fail to tell their insurance provider about their penalty points face a very expensive headache in the event of a crash, writes Treacy Hogan.

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The insurance company will pay damages and costs to an injured third party.

But it is likely to void any claim from the car owner for injuries or vehicle damage if it discovers the driver lied about penalty points when applying for cover or renewing a policy .

Automobile Association spokesman Conor Faughnan warned: "It really is false economy. People may be tempted not to mention penalty points but they can get into serious trouble if they have a crash and injure someone."

He urged motorists to tell their insurers about any penalty points, adding that two points would not make any difference to the cost of the premium.

"Loadings will only kick in after four points."

Penalty points are mainly focussed on speeding, mobile phone use and non-wearing of seat belts.

The system, introduced in 2002, has been credited with saving many lives -- in line with international experience.

While penalty points are endorsed on your driving licence, they do not physically appear on it.

Instead, they are recorded on driving licence records for a period of three years.

These are held on the National Vehicle and Driver File operated by the Road Safety Authority and are routinely accessed by insurance companies investigating claims.

Irish Independent

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