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The law parents break to save money

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Written by:
06/02/2019
One in 10 parents of young drivers risk a trip to court and a criminal record for ‘fronting’ their child’s car insurance policy, according to research.

A survey of 1,000 parents with children aged 17-25 who had passed their driving test found 10% had insured their child’s car in their name to save money, which is technically insurance fraud.

A further 34% of parents polled said they would consider ‘fronting’.

Parents are often unaware they are doing anything wrong, but if the deception is uncovered, the insurance policy becomes null and void and the policyholder – the parent – could end up with a criminal record.

The research by GoCompare Car Insurance revealed 48% of parents think premiums for young drivers are a ‘rip-off’ and just 22% believe the high premiums paid by young drivers reflects the risk.

The average car insurance policy for a 17-year-old is £1,964, according to the comparison site.

Figures from the Association of British Insurers (ABI) show drivers aged 17-20 are twice as likely to make an insurance claim as other drivers. The cost of their claims can be up to three times higher than the average.

Lee Griffin, founding member at GoCompare, said: “Although it’s understandable that a parent would want to help their child with the cost of getting on the road, ‘fronting’ can have serious consequences.

“If a claim is rejected and the policy invalidated, the driver and their parent may be left to foot the bill for damage repairs and injury claims. Add that to a fraud charge in court and the long-term implications of being caught fronting mean it’s not worth taking the gamble.”

How young drivers can reduce their premiums

GoCompare has come up with seven ways that young drivers can cut the cost of car insurance:

Save £196 with a named driver

Although fronting is illegal it’s perfectly ok to add another person, such as a parent, to your policy as a named driver. If they’ve got a good driving record it could reduce your insurance premium significantly.

Shop around

Some insurers will be more competitive than others for different drivers, vehicles and regions depending on the customers they’re hoping to attract. There’s no such thing as a ‘best buy’ car insurance for every driver so if you run a comparison and find some companies quoting hugely inflated premiums, they’re just not that into you.

Avoid big engines and hot hatches

Cars with smaller engines (under 1000cc) generally fall into the lower insurance groups and that means lower premiums for young drivers. Building up a good driving record and no claims discount in a smaller car in those early years means paying less if you want to move on to bigger, faster cars later.

Consider a Telematics policy

A telematics policy involves having a tracking device fitted to your car, which sends information back to the insurer about how the car is being driven. Telematics policies can help young drivers accumulate no claim discounts more quickly, as they can show they are safe drivers from day one.

Choose a higher excess

Opting for a higher voluntary excess could help lower your insurance premiums, but you will need to decide if paying a slightly lower premium is worth the risk of having to contribute more towards the cost of a claim if you have to make one. Younger drivers may be more inclined to drive carefully if they know they’ll have to contribute £1,000 to the cost of a claim rather than £250.

Added extras

Do you really need added extras such as a courtesy car, legal assistance, breakdown cover and key cover? Some policies include these types of cover as standard or as add-ons but they’re not free – the cost will be built into the premium, so you may be able to save money by removing them or choosing a different policy with a more basic level of cover.

Buy in good time

When you buy your policy can affect how much you pay. Some insurers may view people who purchase insurance at the last minute as slightly riskier and therefore more likely to take a chance behind the wheel.

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