New protection for banned drivers

Motorists who pick up 12 points on their licences can have the pain of their driving bans softened thanks to a Norwich-based insurance company.

Motorists who pick up 12 points on their licences can have the pain of their driving bans softened thanks to a Norwich-based insurance company.

But the boss of Keepumoving - a new business that deals solely in loss-of-licence insurance cover - insists his service does not reward bad or dangerous driving.

Monthly premiums start at £3.99, but a motorist with a more expensive platinum policy would get a payout of £1,000 a month for up to a year if he lost his licence.

However, a Keepumoving policy will only pay out if the points have been issued in multiples of three or fewer.

Similarly, if the 'totting up' includes points for more serious offences, such as drink-driving, there will be no payout. Points must have been issued only for offences with the codes 'SP' (speeding), 'PC' (pedestrian crossing), 'CU' (construction and use), 'TS' (traffic signal) and 'MW' (motorway).

"I have been in the insurance industry for 20 years and this was just a niche that I spotted," said Keepumoving managing director Richard Coe. "There has been a dramatic increase over the past few years in motorists losing their licences through totting up.

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"We would never condone reckless or dangerous driving, but there was some researched published recently that said a young driver today could expect to be banned an average of three times during his lifetime.

"Up to a million people are on nine points but they aren't criminals. We are only providing cover for minor misdemeanours such as doing 34mph in a 30mph zone."

Mr Coe said feedback for the insurance had been good, and there were already policyholders all over the country.

"This has obviously touched a nerve," he said.

"This is not about rewarding bad drivers because we are not giving them enough to make up for losing their licences. All we are doing is softening the blow - that is why we have capped the cover at £1,000 a month. It means that if you lose your licence and then lose your job, at least you have got some income until you can start driving again."

Keepumoving, which is based on the Sweetbriar Industrial Estate, is not the first insurer to offer protection against losing your licence, but Mr Coe said it was the first to offer a monthly lump-sum payout.

"Other products are run on an indemnity basis - in other words, you have to send in your receipts to get your payout and only your essential travel is covered," he said.

"What we are offering is a fixed benefit that will pay out £500 or £1,000 a month, depending on the policy."

Keepumoving - which started trading last month and is authorised by the Financial Services Authority - is about to start a major publicity campaign, including television advertising.

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