Speed camera signs dropped: How it could hit you twice

Posted: 30 November 2020 1:00 pm
News
Traffic police working

Drivers don't just face extra fines. They're also at risk of increased insurance premiums and license suspensions.

Drivers are being warned about potential fines after the NSW government announced plans to scrap signs that signal a mobile speed camera ahead.

Over the next 12 months, warning signs will be phased out for mobile cameras but signs for permanent cameras will remain in place.

In NSW, drivers face fines of up to $3,762 for speeding, although that's only for those driving at least 45kmph over the limit. For drivers just 10kmph over the limit, the standard fine is $360. With state borders opening up and many families expected to drive over the Christmas break, the changes could also impact travellers from Victoria, Queensland and South Australia.

However, hefty fines aren't the only financial blow-back from a speeding ticket. Demerit points and licence suspensions can also push the price of car insurance up.

Paying the price for speeding

Most insurance companies adjust their premiums according to how many demerit points a driver has - the more demerit points, the higher the premium.

According to Youi, this is because demerit points are a good indication of a driver's safety and responsibility behind the wheel. More demerit points mean you're at higher risk of an incident on the road, which makes you more costly to insure.

It's no good lying either. If an insurance company asks you to disclose how many demerit points you have, you're bound by the duty of disclosure to answer honestly. Lie, and the company could later refuse to pay a claim or hold you accountable for the amount you owe.

The long-term cost of license suspensions

A license suspension is a quick way to push the price of your car insurance premium up. That's because you're then considered a high-risk driver - but it's not that hard to achieve.

In NSW, once you reach 12 demerit points, your license is suspended. However, if you're still a learner or P1 driver, any speeding offence will result in an automatic suspension.

Don't worry though, demerit points don't last forever. Generally, they only apply for three years from the date of the offence. Once expired, offences should be dropped from your driving record but it's worth double checking before you apply for insurance.

In the meantime, if you are battling against steep insurance premiums, the best thing you can do to reduce the price is compare policies online. You might be able to shave a few hundred dollars off the annual cost.

Compare car insurance from Finder partners

Name Product Roadside Assistance Accidental Damage Storm Choice of Repairer Agreed or Market Value
Budget Direct Comprehensive
Optional
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Awarded the 2019 Finder Award for the Best Value Car Insurance, this policy offers solid coverage at a low cost. Budget Direct’s claims service has received a 4.2/5 based on nearly 5,000 customer reviews.

Who it might be good for: People who want a comprehensive policy without breaking the bank.
Bingle Comprehensive
Market
Finder's summary:Bingle consistently comes up as one of the cheaper insurers out there. It only covers the basics, so you don't get to choose your own repairer, you're not covered for personal items in the car and unless you add it as an option, you won't get a hire car if your car is stolen. But this keeps its premiums low.

Who it might be good for: Someone who wants a low-cost option that covers them for the basics.
Coles Comprehensive
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Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Coles have two-tiers of comprehensive car insurance to choose from. You'll earn double flybuys points at Coles supermarkets and you can get $10 off your Coles grocery bill every time you redeem 2,000 Flybuys points. If you're over 30, you can get roadside assistance free for a year.

Who it might be good for: Coles customers and Flybuys collectors.
Virgin Comprehensive
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Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Finalists for the 2019 Finder Awards for Best Value Car Insurance, Virgin Comprehensive provides a good level of cover for a decent price. Get 15% off on your first year’s premium when you purchase a new eligible comprehensive car insurance online. T&Cs Apply.
Poncho Comprehensive
Agreed
Finder's summary: Poncho works like a monthly subscription – you pay monthly and can cancel and leave at any time. You can also list multiple cars and drivers under one policy, making it ideal for families and groups living together under one household.

Who it might be good for: People who want their car insurance month to month.
Qantas Comprehensive
Optional
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: You'll be able to pick and choose how comprehensive you want your cover to be with optional extras like roadside assistance, choice of your own repairer and the option of agreed or market value. Plus earn Qantas Points for joining and paying your premium. Sign up by 28 February 2021, you can earn up to 40,000 Qantas Points (points awarded will be based on your premium). T&Cs and eligibility apply.

Who it might be good for: People who love collecting frequent flyer points.
Youi Comprehensive
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Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Youi Comprehensive Car Insurance is one of the few providers to include roadside assistance in its policy. You'll also get access to YouiRewards which gives you discounts on furniture, parking and more. Youi also has a live chat feature on its site to talk through any questions.

Who it might be good for: People over 25 who want comprehensive cover with a focus on customer service
Stella Comprehensive
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Stella’s a female-focused insurer. It'll cover you if your car is damaged as a result of domestic violence. It offers higher cover for baby gear than most, with up to $2,000 cover for prams, strollers and child seats. You get a free Bauer magazine subscription when you sign up and a portion of your premiums go to supporting female-led businesses.

Who it might be good for: Someone who wants a female-centred car insurance policy (it will cover men too).
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This article was updated on 30 November 2020 to note the opening up of state borders.

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