20% of drivers commit fraud to cut car insurance premiums
23 February 2010 / by Rachael Stiles
One in five drivers have admitted to ‘fronting’ on their car insurance policy in order to save money.
Research from the Motor Insurance Bureau (MIB) and Aviva car insurance has revealed that more than two thirds of drivers leave themselves vulnerable to committing fraud by not realising the seriousness of the crime, because they are unsure what fronting means.
Many parents do this innocently enough, insuring their child’s car in their own name to reduce the premiums, assuming that a little white lie is worth the risk if it drastically reduces the cost of young drivers’ car insurance, with 20 per cent of drivers admitting to committing this type of insurance fraud.
In doing so, they might save money on premiums, but could find that this is false economy if their child has an accident and the insurance company refuses to pay out because their insurance policy was invalid.
The MIB has conducted the research as part of its Stay Insured campaign, which targets drivers who are most at risk to being uninsured due to financial constraints during the recession.
It believes that drivers who commit fraud through fronting underestimate the reality of it as a criminal offence and the potential consequences.
Of those who commit insurance fraud by fronting, 35 per cent justify it as being a ‘loophole’ in the law, while 10 per cent believe it to be a legitimate method of reducing their car insurance premiums.
The survey found that only 30 per cent of motorists were able to correctly define the term ‘fronting’, but when presented with a definition, 94 per cent of respondents said they believe it to be ‘socially unacceptable’.
Ashton West, chief executive of the MIB said: “There is a significant degree of confusion amongst drivers about the importance of giving accurate information about the main driver to an insurer. There is a need to help drivers understand and appreciate the importance of being adequately insured.”
Nigel Bartram, motoring strategist at Aviva, added: “Young drivers remain the age group with the highest proportion of insurance claims, accidents and fatalities on our roads, and this fact is reflected in their motor insurance premiums. Well meaning parents may consider fronting an insurance policy to try and save money, but this is false economy as those that try to cheat the system by declaring false information will find that their insurance is invalid when they actually need to make a claim on their policy.”
Rather than fronting or participating in any other illegal practice to cut the cost of car insurance for young drivers, Aviva recommends choosing a smaller engine without modifications, parking in a garage overnight, opting for a rapid no claims bonus scheme, keeping mileage down, taking a Pass Plus test and comparing car insurance quotes online to find the best deal.
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