23rd February 2016
Nearly one in five parents maybe committing fraud by ‘fronting’ their children’s car insurance policies.
Research by Gocompare.com shows that 17% of parents have insured their child’s car in their name to save money on insurance premiums and 36% of parents would consider insuring their offspring’s car in their name to get cheaper insurance.
The practice, known as ‘fronting’ is a common type of insurance fraud often unintentionally carried out by well-meaning parents.
Fronting occurs when parents insure their child’s car in their own name adding the child (the real main driver) to the policy in an attempt to keep costs down. This seemingly innocent practice is in fact illegal and, the financial and legal consequences of being caught are serious for both the parent and child.
Gocompare.com is warning parents that ‘fronting’ their children’s insurance could leave them with a criminal record.
The research was conducted among 2,000 parents of children aged 16 to 25.
Where this fraud is exposed, insurers have the right to cancel the policy – making it harder and more expensive to buy insurance in the future. Insurers can also refuse to pay for any claims and recover the cost of third-party claims from the parent as the policyholder.
If the insurance policy is invalidated, any drivers covered by it would effectively be uninsured and could be fined hundreds of pounds and receive six penalty points on their licence.
If a newly qualified driver accumulates six or more penalty points within the first two years of passing their driving test (including any points acquired before passing their test) their licence will be revoked automatically. To regain their driving licence they must reapply for a provisional licence and may drive only as a learner until they pass a further driving test.
Matt Oliver Gocompare.com’s car insurance spokesman, says: “Car insurance for young drivers can be expensive and it’s only natural that parents want to help their children get on the road. But, lying to their car insurer is absolutely the wrong way to go about it and could have serious consequences for both the parent and child.
“Parents shouldn’t be tempted to hide a young motorist as a named driver on a policy. When applying for car insurance you are obliged to tell the insurer of anything that could influence their decision in offering cover – the age and experience of a driver are both crucial factors. Not telling the truth about who is the principal driver is technically fraud which may result in a policy being cancelled and any claims refused.
“As well as being illegal, fronting is a false economy. Insurers are wise to the practice and many price policies according to the age of the youngest named driver. However, there are many legal ways for young drivers to find more affordable insurance including shopping around for the best value deal, considering a telematics based policy or opting for a higher policy excess.
“In the long run, it is better for young drivers to hold insurance in their own name to build-up valuable no claims discount.”