Young drivers will be targeted by under-fire insurance industry

Other insurers are set to follow Aviva's lead on criticising

Young drivers will be targeted by under-fire insurance industry

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Young drivers who are named on their parent's policy but are, in reality, the sole driver of the insured car, could soon be in trouble.

Following on from Aviva writing to customers to warn them that this practice, known as "fronting", is fraudulent and will be tackled, the Irish Independent has reported that all insurers in the market are gearing up to clamp down on the activity.

Fronting is widespread in Ireland and allows younger motorists to avoid prohibitive premiums and save thousands.

Jonathan Hehir of CoverInAClick.ie told the Irish Independent that the practice has become a problem for companies. He explained that insurers are now sceptical when a parent has two policies on two cars in their name and that companies are now sharing information, allowing them to cross-check and discover when a car is registered in the name of a child but the policy on it is under the parent's name.

"Where the cover is blatantly for the kids, there will be problems," he said. "If there is a claim and they discover fronting, then they won't cover accidental damage on the car and won't cover theft, but will cover third-party claims."

Aviva has informed drivers that making a “false declaration by saying that someone is an occasional driver as opposed to the main driver” was fraud and could result in a criminal conviction. It also stated that many people involved in fronting do not realise that it’s not only against the law, but also puts lives at risk.

The clampdown comes as insurers themselves are put under the microscope as the cost of premiums continue to soar.

The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) is currently investigating the sector's pricing and whether there have been “breaches of competition law” by insurers in the market.