An increasing number of parents are risking heading to court and having a criminal record for ‘fronting’ their child’s car insurance policy, new research has revealed.
Fronting is when an older or more experienced driver, usually a parent, claims they’re the main user of a car mostly driven by a young person, or other high-risk motorists, to reduce premiums.
Some 23 per cent of adults admitted the insurance for their child’s car was in their, or their partner’s, name with the child named as an additional driver, which is up from one in ten the last time Go Compare conducted the same survey two years ago.
Fronting is technically insurance fraud and therefore illegal.
23% of adults admitted to ‘fronting’ their child’s car insurance policy, putting them at risk
The study surveyed over 1,000 parents of children aged 17 to 25 who were either learning to drive or were a young driver.
It found that, in Wales, 41 per cent of parents whose children have their own car said the car insurance was in their name, making it the area with potentially the highest number of fronted policies.
Meanwhile, some 56 per cent of all parents across the UK said they would consider putting themselves as the main driver to save money on a car insurance policy.
The poll also revealed that, for the first time, the cost of car insurance was the top concern for parents when it came to their child getting on the road, over safety and other concerns.
Ryan Fulthorpe, motoring expert at Go Compare, said: ‘Unfortunately, parents are often unaware that fronting is insurance fraud and therefore illegal, so they could end up with a policy that’s null and void, as well as a criminal record.
‘Fronted policies are often discovered during the claims process when the insurance company will look at the details of an accident.
‘If they find that the main driver wasn’t the policyholder, then it can mean that the parent is liable for the costs of that accident, as the insurer will try to recoup any third party costs that they have paid out.’
The numbers have increased since Go Compare last conducted the survey in 2019 when one in 10 parents said they had declared themselves as the main driver.
Ryan added: ‘Whether this increase is due to financial concerns following the pandemic, or that more education needs to be done about fronting, is not clear.’
Meanwhile, the average cost of a car insurance policy for a 17 to 19 year old is £871.94, according to Go Compare data.
New drivers are also being urged to watch out for bogus car insurance deals being promoted on social media, This is Money previously reported.
As thousands of learners are hoping to pass their test following more than a year of disruption, there has been a growing number of fake car insurance sales – known as ‘ghost broking’.
This is a scam that involves fraudsters pretending to be insurance brokers in order to sell unrealistically cheap and subsequently fake policies.
These are often advertised to younger drivers via Facebook and Instagram, according to research from the Insurance Fraud Bureau, which is urging young drivers to be cautious when purchasing cover.
Many parents say they are the main driver to save their children money on their insurance
Five ways young drivers can save on car insurance
1. Shop for a policy
With over 100 insurers to choose from, it’s unlikely that the first insurer you get a quote from will be the most competitive, so it’s worth spending ten minutes filling in a quote form and getting a wide range of quotes from a flurry of insurers.
Some will price more competitively for younger drivers so it’s worth shopping around.
2. Avoid big engines and modifications
Cars with smaller engines (under 1000cc) generally fall into the lower insurance groups and that means lower premiums for young drivers.
Meanwhile, the more modifications you make to a car, the more attractive it will be to thieves so where possible, keep to the manufacturer’s fittings and you will save on your premiums.
3. Consider telematics
A telematics policy is where a tracking device is fitted to your car which will monitor your driving and price your premiums accordingly. Therefore if you drive fast, your policy price will go up and the safer you drive, the quicker you can accumulate no claim discounts.
4. Added extras
Some car policies will include cover such as courtesy car, legal assistance, breakdown cover and key cover, 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.
5. 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 more risky and therefore more likely to take a chance behind the wheel, so buying well in advance could save you money on your premiums.
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