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Tue, 08/01/2019
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What is car insurance fronting?

For young or inexperienced drivers, car insurance premiums can be particularly expensive. There are many myths regarding the different methods you can use to reduce your car insurance premiums, which tend to be adopted by this category of driver, who are seen as a higher risk due to the fact their request may be their first ever car insurance policy.

One such method which many policyholders across the country use is known as car insurance fronting. Fronting is seen as a way to drastically reduce policy premiums, despite motorists who utilise this method being unaware of the serious trouble it can land them in. However, ‘fronted’ insurance generally has higher premiums as you would not receive specialist young driver policies. In an attempt to raise awareness of fronting, and to prevent any customers from receiving significant penalties, we have created a comprehensive guide to car insurance fronting and how to avoid it.

What is it and why do drivers submit fronted policies?

Car insurance fronting is a term used to describe when a more experienced driver takes out a policy as the main driver and adds someone who is categorised as a higher risk driver as a named driver. However, the named driver, who is typically younger and less experienced, will in fact be the main user of the vehicle, with the insurer unaware.

This method is generally used by families, in which an older and more experienced parent will take out a policy in their name and add their child onto the policy, when in fact, the child will be the vehicle’s main user. Motorists believe that taking out an insurance policy in the name of a more experienced driver will cost less than taking out a policy in the name of the higher risk driver.

What happens if I have to make a claim on my fronted car insurance policy?

Car insurance fronting is illegal and may invalidate the car insurance policy.  It is seen as a type of insurance fraud and therefore there can be serious consequences if you are caught. Making a claim is usually how an insurer will find out whether you are fronting. If the named driver is involved in a collision, the insurance company may launch an investigation and conclude that the policy has been fronted. The insurer may reject your claim and you will have to pay any costs yourself. The main driver may also lose their no claims discount.

Can I be punished for car insurance fronting?

In the simplest of cases, if you are caught fronting your insurer may just cancel your policy. If you are unaware of this cancellation, you would be driving without insurance which is illegal and can lead to a fine and points on your licence. If your insurers decide to escalate the case further, you could be taken to court. If this happens, the accused could be given a fine and penalty points on their licence. For younger drivers who have held the licence for less than two years, six points will result in an instant driving ban. It is important to note in this case that ignorance to is not a defence. Whether you knew about a crime or not, you will still be prosecuted if your insurer decides to take you to court.

How can I reduce my premium without fronting?

Rather than take the risk of incurring serious punishment for taking out a fronted policy, there are many more legal ways to try and reduce insurance premiums for younger and inexperienced drivers. The fundamental variable in the pricing of your premium is the car itself. Generally, insuring a less powerful and cheaper car will result in a cheaper premium compared to deciding to insure a brand-new vehicle. Other ways to reduce your premiums can include:

  • Paying your insurance annually: It may seem obvious, but splitting your car insurance premium over several months will cost you a lot more than paying the lump sum annually. This could go a long way in reducing the amount you pay for your policy.
  • Fitting a black box:An extremely popular option for younger drivers, installing a black box is a great way to prove to insurers how careful a driver you really are.
  • Installing further security features: Ensuring your car is as safe as it can be, by installing features such as immobilisers or car alarms, can also reduce your premium. 
  • Taking further training courses: Of course, taking further driving awareness courses is another way to assure potential insurers you will act responsibly on the road. An example of such a course is the Pass Plus scheme, which was set up for newly passed drivers to help improve their confidence on the road- decreasing premiums for policies without a black box.  

Another important tip is to shop around for your insurance premium. Be Wiser offers competitive prices for young drivers looking to insure their first car and is a great place to start your search.