As a US citizen, my wife received and paid a speeding ticket in Texas in 2013.

After moving to the UK in 2015 (she's also a EU citizen), she began working towards her UK driver's license in early 2016 and sought to find an insurer, declaring this offence on each application as she went. When she confirmed an agreement with an insurance provider, they assured her that an international conviction did not count in the UK, and so they gave her a policy based on zero offences.

After passing her test, she moved to a second insurer who was willing to give her a better rate, whom she has now been with for the past ~9 months. We did not declare any offences to this second insurer, because we had been told by the first insurer that the US speeding offence did not count in the UK. Yesterday, we received a letter from the second insurer's data verification team, who are claiming a discrepancy between her policy and 'another quote or policy from elsewhere within their group', have added an SP40 Exceeding passenger vehicle speed limit offence against her current insurance policy, and are back-charging her £750 for the last year's worth of insurance.

Do non-EU international speeding offences count lawfully in the UK for insurance declarations? Have we unwittingly committed some kind of fraud or not?

  • For the record I've since ascertained that the original offence was not in a "passenger vehicle" as defined in the UK, so even if valid it would actually be an SP30 offence. Either way, I'm still interested in whether or not either would be valid at all. Jul 14 '17 at 9:41

It doesn't matter whether such offences "count lawfully".

The insurance company doesn't punish you for speeding, that's none of their business. But they calculate the risk and the premium based on your driving history. Being caught speeding in the USA poses the same added risk as being caught speeding in the UK or in the EU, so each will increase your premium.

  • In theory you're absolutely right. Theoretically, insurers should be taking account of all factors influencing insurance risk - but unfortunately, in today's age everything goes through a system, and so most modern quotes can only be ever affected by things which the system can handle. Neither insurer cares that my wife has fifteen years of driving experience - she's handled as a brand new driver, because her UK license is that old. The previous insurer didn't care about an international offence, as they said it couldn't be classified under SP40. Is it or isn't it an SP40 offence? Jul 14 '17 at 9:24
  • You'll need to look for a better insurance then. I had my no claims bonus transferred to the UK without many problems. But the question isn't "IS it that kind of offence" but how the insurance sees it. And the fact is, she had this offence, so you are basically asking whether she should get away with it, while UK residents wouldn't.
    – gnasher729
    Jul 14 '17 at 12:53

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