Could driveway length impact your insurance premiums

Posted by Ben Ryland in Neighbourhood on 6 September 2016 - Ben is a Senior Credit Analyst at checkmyfile.

Are home and car insurance providers plotting to use even more of our personal information to set insurance premiums? Well it seems insurers are and anything from your hobbies to social media records and even the length of your driveway could soon be used by insurers.

The insurers see this as the best way to offer a more tailored insurance package to the customer, as the premium would be much more personal and reflect the perceived risk the insurance provider would have of you.

It has been suggested that property records could be used and even home security systems – so the insurer would know when your property was empty.

It is bound to be packaged as saving customers money as some would likely see their premiums fall but there will always be those who end up paying more and for some this could be a significant increase on their premiums.

Each detail the insurer uncovers about you could impact the premium. For example knowing the length of your driveway could add to your premium if it is deemed ‘short’ as statistics have shown that short driveways are more at risk of theft. 4 door car owners could have premiums increased as these would be deemed to be at risk of more whiplash claims due to carrying more people. It is these little things which the insurers are pouncing on and building into their risk and premium models.

Wendy Seago from Aviva said ‘If we can get better data, we can understand the actual behaviour and risk of individual people.

‘It’s about being less reliant on averages and stereotypes. If we can identify a fantastically safe 17-year-old driver or a very healthy 60-year-old, we can offer them a better price.’

Aviva have found the recommended length of your driveway should be 6 meters/19.7 feet and if it is shorter, the premium could be increased by a few pounds. Naturally, the insurers will be unlikely to reply on your own driveway measuring skills to determine its length and will consult property sites such as Rightmove as well as the Land Registry and using their own technology systems.

A seemingly more extreme approach is the addition of ‘sensors’ to your home which would detect when somebody is in. Rebecca Clapham of Direct Line said ‘When you’re in the house, thefts are less likely to occur.

‘We also see fewer claims for leaking washing machines and fires caused by curling tongs left on, because there is someone there to notice the problem and deal with it quickly.’

So the addition of sensors could lower your premiums as it would show if you are at home more often, and could also catch out those who claim to be at home when they are not.

While the insurance providers will maintain that having access to this detailed information will help them offer truly personal premiums there will be many customers who simply see this as the insurers trying to squeeze even more money out of hard-pressed customers.

If you have been shopping around for an insurance product recently whether its car or home insurance, you should be able to see some insurance enquiries on your credit report. But don’t worry if your file is accessed to generate an insurance quote - this doesn’t impact your credit score.

Why You Should Check Your Postcode Before Buying a House

Whatever reason you decide to move house, maybe it’s for downsizing, upsizing or a change of scenery, you’ll want to make sure that the house is the right fit for you (perhaps give or take a compromise or two). However, the area you’re thinking about moving to also needs to fit in with your needs and may be a far larger consideration than you may have realised.

Published on 3 Jan 2018 by Katherine Cornell

Full Article

UK unemployment falls to its lowest in more than a decade

The three months to September saw UK unemployment figures hit an 11-year low of just 4.8%, based on statistics provided by the Office of National Statistics (ONS). This is down from 5.3% in the same period of 2015, and dropped 37,000 from the previous three months of the year.

Published on 16 Nov 2016 by Ben Tumilty

Full Article

Iplayer now comes at a cost

Following new rules put into place on Thursday morning those watching programmes on BBC iPlayer will require a TV license. This new rule means that even if the programme is not live you will still need a TV license. Previously no TV license was needed if you were watching programmes not being broadcasted live.

Published on 5 Sep 2016 by Paul Anderson Riley

Full Article

Parking permit prices on the up and up

More than half of local authorities have expanded the number of parking zones which require a parking permit. As a result, the cost of parking has spiralled out of control, so much so that parking permit prices have increased by 51%.

Published on 26 May 2016 by Jasmin Stopford

Full Article

£50bn needed to fund Osborne’s northern powerhouse vision

The government will need to shell out at least £50bn to turn the north of England into an economic powerhouse.

Published on 21 Sep 2015 by Simon Hadley

Full Article

Property asking prices spike 3pc

It seems that this summer might be a good time to sell a house.

Published on 16 Jun 2015 by Richard Catlin

Full Article

Middle income households continue to fall

We’ve see tax cuts for the richest in society in recent years, often at the expense of the poor. So it may come as no surprise to hear that whilst both poor and rich households are on the increase, middle-income households continue to fall.

Published on 11 Mar 2015 by Kelly Luff

Full Article

The areas where consumers borrow the most

Peterborough holds the highest debt per person in the country, a new survey reveals.

Published on 14 Oct 2014 by Ben Tumilty

Full Article

High Street shuffle

Our High Streets are changing rapidly according to a new survey from PwC and the Local Data Company.

Published on 9 Oct 2014 by Barry Stamp

Full Article

What does your postcode say about you

The British postcode has just celebrated its 40th birthday and to mark the occasion, Royal Mail has commissioned a special report highlighting just a few of the diverse differences that can be measured from one to the next.

Published on 28 Apr 2014 by Richard Catlin

Full Article


We are rated number 1 for customer service on