Young drivers insurance


Young driver – how to get insurance

Accident statistics tell us young drivers are more likely to be involved in an accident. That means insurance claims so higher premiums than experienced drivers.

Like anyone dealing with something new you have to be on the road to improve your skills and build a positive insurance record.

Do take additional training, and the Pass Plus qualification should help.

So what is available for the young driver looking for insurance.

Young Driver Insurance from Co-operative Insurance Society Ltd is designed to monitor your driving using a device called a Smartbox.

The Smartbox is fitted to your car and allows the insurer to track “Safe Driving Parameters”:

  • average speeds on different types of road
  • how fast and hard the car accelerates or brakes
  • what times of the day the car is driven
  • how fast corners are taken.

The insurer assesses how the car is driven every 90 days. The safer the car is driven the more  discount on your premium. If you’ve earned a discount you’ll get it there and then, returned direct to your credit/debit card or as a reduced Direct Debit. Of course, if you don’t drive within our Safe Driving Parameters your premium may increase.

The young driver is given regular safe driving alerts so you know how you are getting on. So for example if all the parameters are regularly rated Good or Excellent the insurer will be able to let you know if your premium is likely to be discounted at the next quarterly review.

Warning: Premiums can go up as well as down!

Something similar is arranged by Coverbox Car Insurance. They describe themselves as an insurance intermediary, which I think means a broker. They offer quotes from a number of insurers, including the Co-operative.

The first I heard of this type of insurance was a Norwich Union pay as you drive product. Norwich Union is now called Aviva. I cannot find any recent publicity for this product and have seen a report in the Guardian that the product was dropped in 2007. The problem was the cost of fitting hardware and a lack of customer interest. I would like to know if anyone has used this type of insurance. There is a belief amongst insurers we will all be insured like this one day.

Named Driver

One option used by many is to add young drivers as named drivers on another policy. That is perfectly fine, and the old downside of not building a no-claims bonus is being watered down if the young driver insures with the same insurer. But do beware of what is called fronting. This is where the named driver is the main or only driver of a vehicle insured, usually, in their parent’s name. This method of insurance may be cheap, but when you come to claim you may find the insurer will not pay. Insurance companies insure on the basis of the information you give them. If the information is wrong, and particularly if it is misleading, the policy will not stand, so beware.