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ABI Offers Young Drivers An Olive Branch For Lower Car Insurance Premiums

Young Driver
The Association of British Insurers has jumped the gun on the Car Insurance Premium Hike Inquiries currently under investigation by the OFT and FSA, by publishing a press release offering its own rationale on the high costs of car insurance for young inexperienced drivers and offering it’s own solutions!
Essentially the ABI has chosen to ignore the high costs of claims due to third parties such as ambulance chasers, hire car costs and repairers and also the low cost of acquisition of new business caused by the price comparison sites as factors in the pricing.  Instead the ABI regurgitates the old chestnut of statistics upon which all rates are calculated and points out that  one in four people killed or seriously injured in a road crash is a young driver or one of their passengers, yet drivers under age 25 account for only 12% of all driving license holders.
They do have a point!

For learner drivers under 25, the ABI has called for a minimum one-year learning period before taking the driving test and a ban on taking intensive driving courses where they are the only means of learning to drive (see below for full list of proposals).

The ABI recommends newly-qualified drivers under 25 should hold a ‘graduated’ driving license for two years, at the end of which they would be tested again. Under the graduated license there would be restrictions on passenger numbers and on driving between 11pm and 4am.

Car Insurance blog notes that interestingly the ABI have had to toe the European line and be selective with their statistics.

How they would like to point out that the bulk of the young drivers at fault are in fact Male, a rating factor that is no longer applicable in the pricing of car insurance from January 2012!

ABI News Release

Tuesday, 22 November 2011 Ref: 53/11

ABI sets out ‘tough love’ proposals to cut young driver road accidents and reduce their insurance costs

Young novice drivers should not be allowed to drink any alcohol while driving and be restricted in the hours when they can drive under radical proposals set out today by the ABI to cut the high level of deaths and serious injuries involving young drivers. Young drivers aged under 25 are twice as likely to fail a breathalyzer test and more at risk when driving late at night and early in the morning.

One in four people killed or seriously injured in a road crash is a young driver or one of their passengers, yet drivers under age 25 account for only 12% of all driving license holders. Every day 2 people die and 16 people are injured in road crashes involving drivers under 25. Young male drivers are especially at risk, being five times more likely to be involved in a crash than 30-59 year old males.

“Our proposals are not designed to drive young drivers off the road, but to ensure that they become safer drivers. We must act to reduce the tragic loss of young lives on our roads”, stressed Nick Starling, ABI’s Director of General Insurance and Health.

The ABI wants to see for learner drivers aged under 25:

• A minimum one-year learning period before taking the driving test. A minimum learning period applies in many other countries.
• A ban on taking intensive driving courses where this is the sole means of learning to pass the driving test. This would enable learner drivers to gain experience in a wider variety of road conditions.

For newly-qualified drivers aged under 25:

• All new drivers should hold a graduated driving license for two years, at the end of which they should be required to pass a second test to ensure that they are safe to drive on all types of roads.
• The graduated driving license would contain restrictions on the number of passengers that could be carried. This reflects the significantly increased accident risk when other passengers are in the car. It would also include restrictions on driving between 11pm – 4am, albeit with certain exemptions, such as where driving is necessary due to work.

Nick Starling added:

“While recent years may have seen a reduction road accident fatalities and serious injuries the figures are still too high. Every young driver statistic is a tragedy. Whether it is inexperience, youthful bravado or sheer recklessness we need tough action to better equip young drivers to handle the dangers of driving.

“Insurers are actively doing this through the increasing use of in-car ‘black box’ technology which encourages responsible driving and ensures that the cost of motor insurance reflects the actual risk. But we need the Government to play its part through an overhaul of how we teach young people to drive.

“Young drivers pay more for their motor insurance because their accident risk is not only high, but because accidents that they are involved often involve very costly claims for personal injuries. So helping them to be safer drivers and reducing their accident rates will mean they will pay less for their motor insurance in the long run.”

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