Insurers crack down on mobile abuse

* Convicted motorists will pay more insurance * Mobile phone use now same as careless driving * Average premium would rise 208 a year...

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Jim Holder
10 April 2008

Insurers crack down on mobile abuse

Motorists caught using mobile phones while driving could have their insurance premiums increased by up to one-third.

Allianz Insurance now treats it the same as a careless driving offence, and other insurers are expected to follow.

Previously, Allianz dealt with hand-held mobile phone convictions as if they were a routine speeding conviction, which incurred three penalty points.

According to the AA, the average motor insurance policy is 629, so if premiums do go up by a third, those convicted of driving while using a mobile phone face an average rise of 208 a year for their policy.

It has been illegal to use a hand-held mobile phone while driving since December 2003.

The charge is now a 60 fine and three penalty points. However, it is not illegal to use a hands-free phone when driving.