For the purpose of a collecting data on the computer system and as a check on the application of a young drivers excess, the date of birth is usually sought rather than the proposer’s age when you apply for car insurance.The genral rule of thumb is the older you are when applying for cover – the less your car insurance will cost! Opinions differ as to what is a ‘young driver’ but a generally accepted definition is anyone under 25 years of age.
The age of a proposer or the youngest declared driver is a rating factor if the person has not attained, say, 25 years of age. Elderly drivers, say over 70, may also call for special underwriting treatment. Discounted rates may be given for specialist schemes for drivers over fifty, for example.
Where the proposal form shows that a young person will be driving the vehicle it is essential to establish whether he/she will be the main driver. This is particularly important where there is more than one vehicle to be insured or where the proposal is from the parent of a young driver where the parent does not drive or has another vehicle which is normally used. If it can be established that the young person is to be the main driver terms will usually be applied as though he were the proposer.
Many Car Insurance companies differ as to what is a ‘young driver’ and insurers generally agree that anybody who has passed the age of 25 and who has a sufficient degree of driving experience – without an unsatisfactory record of convictions or accidents – may be accepted at normal rates and conditions where the vehicle to be insured is a standard family saloon or has a low thatcham rated insurance group, usually under 10..
Where the car involved is of a sports or performance motor or has been modified in some way from the manufacturer’s standard specifications, insurers tend to adopt the view that the driver should considered as ‘young’ until he or she is rather older than 25 and they will reflect this attitude in their rates and conditions.
For example, the driver of a souped up Mini Cooper S may not qualify for normal rates until he or she has passed the age of 30, whereas the driver of a standard Mini may receive the benefit of normal terms as soon as the age of 23 or 25 is reached.
If you are a young driver you should avoid the practice of ‘fronting’. This is where some parents who complete a proposal form in their own name when, in reality, it is their young son or daughter who is the principal driver of the vehicle. Many insurers look upon this as the ‘oldest trick in the book’ and care should always be taken to ensure that if the son or daughter is to be the principal driver, full details are obtained so that the insurers may impose the correct rate and conditions. Fortunately many younger drivers now realize that whilst they may benefit from a reduced premium if the relevant policy is issued in the name of the parent for a few years, the son or daughter will not begin to earn a no claims discount until he or she has held a policy in his or her own name for at least a year; no claims discounts can be worth a considerable amount in cash terms and many younger drivers feel that it would be best to ‘get it over with’ and arrange insurance in their own name from the outset. It may be expensive initially, but they will at least begin to earn a no claims discount in their own right, something they will not achieve for as long as the car they drive is insured in the name of a parent.