Allianz ups premiums for drivers on mobiles
by Gill Montia
Story link: Allianz ups premiums for drivers on mobiles
Allianz has become the first motor insurer to raise premiums specifically for drivers convicted of using their mobile phones whilst at the wheel.
Previously, the insurer treats points on a licence for mobile phone use as equivalent to a speeding a conviction.
The new regime will increase premiums by 30%, the same hike as applied to motorists with dangerous driving convictions.
Young drivers are most likely to be affected as people aged between 17 and 34 are twice as likely to commit the offence than those aged over 55.
The insurer hopes its actions will reinforce the fact that mobile phone use when driving is dangerous, while at the same time completely unnecessary.
According to the Department for Transport’s Think! campaign, driver’s reaction times are up to 50% slower that normal when driving and using a mobile phone, meaning they are 30% slower than when driving under the influence of alcohol.
Other statistics show that during the time spent on the phone, drivers are four times more likely than normal to be involved in an accident.
The current penalty for the offence is a £60 fine and three points. There is only one exception to the law, which is for calls to 999 in a genuine emergency where it would be unsafe or impractical to stop.