Young drivers’ car insurance loyalty ‘gone through the windscreen’
13 January 2010 / by Rachael Stiles
Young drivers’ car insurance premiums have increased sharply in recent years, partly due to the internet which has seen loyalty to car insurance companies replaced by regular switching.
According to Nigel Lacey, co-founder of young drivers’ car insurance provider Young Marmalade, whilst the ability to compare car insurance deals online has increased competition and can help drivers save money, it has also brought an end to loyalty when it comes to car insurance providers.
The common practice of British consumers moving car insurance companies every year in search of the cheapest deal means that insurers do not rely on the fact that a young driver will remain with them for several years, which would enable them to recoup any risk or loss incurred during this time once they become a more experienced driver.
“Drivers can now go to the Confused Meer Kat in a Supermarket and get the best deal for them. Nothing wrong with that, but loyalty has now gone through the windscreen,” said Mr Lacey, explaining why car insurance for young drivers has become so expensive. “The insurer now has as little as one year’s premium to recover the risk profile for an individual driver, so it has to increase the price in an attempt to balance the books.”
The dwindling number of car insurance providers catering for young drivers is also driving up the cost of getting on the road, he added; some providers are increasing their minimum age to 21 or even 25.
Young Marmalade is a combined car purchase and low cost insurance specialist, making the purchase of a new or nearly new car more viable by subsidising the cost, and theoretically making them a lower risk than if they bought an older car which might not be as road worthy.
The cars that Young Marmalade customers can choose from have small engines, a high safety rating, and come with the condition that the young driver partakes in additional training to reduce their risk.
Young Marmalade has also implemented new technology to limit the time of day and night when the car can be driven, to avoid the times when most accidents happen. According to Mr Lacey, this has reduced insurance premiums by more than 60 per cent compared to market rates.
To discourage young drivers from taking to the roads at risky times and to take a taxi instead, Young Marmalade has also made the “unprecedented move” of subsidising their taxi fares.
Young Marmalade anticipates that by controlling the major contributory causes to many collisions, young drivers using their scheme will be “one of the safest groups on the road.”
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