What is fronting and why does it affect car insurance?

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Admiral explains everything you need to know about fronting. From what it is to how to avoid doing it

Fronting occurs when a driver chooses to cut the costs of another driver's car insurance - often their son or daughter - by declaring themselves as the main driver in their place.

An example of fronting would be a family where mum and dad have a car each and buy their newly qualified son a car, but take out the policy in one of their names.

If the son uses the car to drive to and from school or work, or any regular use then he is the main user and should be listed as such. If his dad chose to declare himself as main user and adds the son as a named driver to try to make the policy cheaper, it would be classed as a fronted policy.

There's no problem with a young driver having their parents as named drivers on their policy if they are likely to use the car, just as long as the young driver is listed as main driver.

Why do people front?

As we all know, younger drivers and other high risk drivers often pay a lot more for their car insurance than older or lower risk drivers due to a higher claims ratio and higher claims cost.

Because of this disparity, some people try and reduce those costs by fraudulently setting up their policies in the name of an older or lower risk driver.

Teenagers and parents of teenage drivers are always trying to find cheap insurance quotes, which is why fronted policies are often set up in a well meaning way. Many people don't realise it can land you in hot water.

ActionFraud describe it as a type of insurance fraud and note those caught doing it could face prosecution for fraud and could even result in a criminal record.

But I just want cheap insurance, why is it a bad thing?

Fronting is bad news for both insurers and customers, a member of Admiral's Pricing team explains why: "Fronting - when somebody takes a policy out in their own name on behalf of one of the other named drivers in an attempt to make the policy cheaper - is strongly discouraged because it isn't an accurate reflection of the risk.

"It can lead to issues with documentation being sent out to the wrong person and could even cause problems at claims stage."

It's bad news for customers too as it could invalidate your insurance and you may find your insurer is unable to pay out for any damage to your car if you were to make a claim.

What if I take the risk and get caught?

As we've already discussed, making a claim on a fronted policy could result in your claim being rejected. Though your insurer would legally have to pay out for any third parties involved it could refuse to pay out for your costs, whether that's damage to the car or injury costs.

That's not to mention the fact fronting is a type of insurance fraud which is illegal and means you or the main user of the car could find yourselves in court.

A criminal conviction could affect applications for all types of insurance and any future credit applications you may submit.

So, how can I get cheaper insurance?

Whether young drivers decide to learn with an instructor, with parents or a combination of both the entire process can become quite costly. Thankfully, there are lots of different options for young, first time or high risk drivers which could help them get a better price on their car insurance to help save some money.

One option is Admiral’s Learner Driver Insurance, which allows learner drivers to have insurance on a friend or family member’s car without affecting their No Claims Bonus. The cover works in addition to any existing cover in place on the car and you have the option of a 90, 60, 30 or 7 day policy – depending on how long you plan on learning to drive.

Another popular option is a telematics policy, especially if you are learning to drive on your own car. If so, you can get a quote from Admiral LittleBox to see if black box insurance is right for you. Eligibility criteria may apply.

Though cutting costs sometimes is a big concern when it comes to arranging an insurance policy, it's important to remember all the details need to be accurate.

Our Pricing team adds: "We encourage all customers to honestly fill out the quotation details with the correct policy holder and major user details, to ensure the pricing, documentation and information is all accurate, and of course so that the major user builds up their own No Claims Bonus."

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