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Young Driver Insurance – To Front or not to Front?

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October 22, 2007
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I’ve mentioned fronting in a previous post outlining the perils of lying to your insurance company, but right now fronting – the term for when a young driver insures their car in the name of an older relative (usually mum or dad) – has been in the news of late.

The news is that many insurance companies are getting tough with fronted policies. In fact, several high profile insurance companies have recently stopped accepting fronted risks. And on Saturday a Moneybox programme on Radio 4 (you can currently covered the issue, and has prompted a heated online debate on fronting.

The most worrying thing from a young driver’s point of view was the mixed messages coming from companies like esure. Despite the fact that esure currently allow the purchase of a fronted policy, their spokesman said:

“Any act of deception to try to get a lower insurance premium with your insurance company is tantamount to fraud.”

If I were an esure customer insured in my mum’s name, I would be very concerned about a statement like that. It suggests that if you were to make a claim, you could be in serious trouble. And as if to underline that the whole industry is clamping down on the practice, the head of the Association of British Insurers (ABI), Nick Starling has recently commented:

“Insurance cheats are more likely to be caught than ever before. And cheats will pay a high price as future insurance and credit will be more expensive and harder to obtain.”

And don’t bother running to the insurance ombudsman either if you’re refused a claim over fronting. Says Peter Hinchcliffe, lead insurance ombudsman:

“If you are the parent and you have said you are the main driver and the car has been in an accident, or stolen, at your son or daughter’s university, you have got a lot of work to do to explain how that has come about.”

So what’s the solution?

At Adrian Flux the problem of fraudulent fronting is simply not an issue for our customers. We do not accept any risks that are, or appear to be, fronted. We always rate our insurance quotes based on the highest risk driver, which, the statistics show, is usually the youngest.

If all insurance companies took this line there wouldn’t be a problem.

If there were no fronting, there would be benefits for everyone. All middle-aged drivers would get lower premiums because their statistics wouldn’t include so many claims by their children.

And believe it or not, younger drivers might wind up with a cheaper premium too. No, really. Being insured on your parent’s policy is all well and good, but the problem with this is that you do not accrue any no claims discount of your own (see note)*. Since no claims discounts are pretty hefty for younger drivers, you could well end up paying less over a period of a few years simply by getting your own policy.

But if all this hasn’t been enough to convince you that fronting is a bad idea, then please read this informative post on fronting from the Max Power forum.

Here are some tips for cheaper young drivers insurance:

  • Do Pass Plus, IAM or Max Driver – that will save you up to 40%.
  • Think about insurance when you buy your car – one of our top 10 cheapest cars for young drivers might be for you.
  • When you get a quote always answer all questions truthfully, otherwise you might be in hot water.
  • Before you do any modifications, check to see what impact they will have on your premium. Believe it or not, some mods can reduce your premium, and we can offer modified car insurance to young drivers, but be aware if you’re planning to fit turbos and a nitrous kit to your Corsa, your quote may well be beyond your budget.

*Direct Line do of course advertise named driver No Claims Discount, but in practice, this may not be transferable to other insurers, so you could find yourself stuck with Direct Line when you decide to take out your own policy. You might be happy with this but bear in mind that many people think that the real reason that Direct Line hate comparison sites is that Direct Line’s prices are simply very expensive when compared with other quotes!

2 responses to “Young Driver Insurance – To Front or not to Front?”

  1. Anonymous says:

    >Insurence for us younger drivers is unfair, and we are being targeted in the meantime.

    I am a named driver on my dad’s car. it’s his registered, not mine, so it’s not breaking the law.
    We are with Direct Line. Despite what people “may” think they are cheaper and the no-claims is transferable. You get it when you start with them but then a year later you can take it with you. People around me have done this. It’s the only way.

    Of course, other insurers arn’t gonna like it but hey, what would you do if you were young in this day and age?
    As for mods, why does everyone think younger drivers mod thier cars?

    Jus thought I’d post this to clarify a few things.

  2. Anonymous says:

    >My mum has crashed 3 times this year. I haven’t even ahd a close shave this year and im 18…says a lot about stereotypes.

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