Car insurers clamping down on phone drivers

An investigation by the AA has revealed that some insurance companies are refusing to sell policies to drivers caught using their phone behind the wheel. Phone driving is rising to the top of the road safety agenda, in particular the increase in drivers engaging in social networking on the move – a trend linked to the proliferation of smartphones.Some drivers even admit to playing games like Angry Birds behind the wheel. Driving while using a phone is on the up, and has been likened to drink driving in terms of the effect is has on reaction times and concentration; clearly, it’s an issue that needs serious attention.

So some insurers are taking a tough stance on those caught red handed; the AA discovered that four of eight insurers it surveyed won’t quote a driver if they have a single CU80 offence (using a mobile phone while driving a motor vehicle).

Those insurers that will, it was found, will add around 20% to the premium.

The AA’s Simon Douglas said: “Using a mobile phone while driving is a deliberate act. Many drivers may accidentally drift over a 30mph limit without realising. But no one accidentally makes or answers a call or text.”

That view is shared by insurers, evidently, because the average premium rise for a driver with three ‘SP30’ penalty points (for speeding) is 9.3% – half that of the average CU80 rise.