Many of us know of what the fronting concept relates too, but if we’re honest we may not be sure of the actual term ‘fronting’. Here we’re going to look at what it means, and the subsequent consequences if caught out.
Fronting is when a parent places themselves as the named driver on a vehicle insurance knowing full well it will be one of their children who will be the main driver. This is all done with the aim of hammering down the insurance premium. There are around 1000 insurance claims every year where fronting is involved and drivers are caught out. The penalties can be quite serious which we'll come onto discuss later.
Firstly, we need to know 'fronting' is against the law.
So, let’s look at the difference between the main driver and any additional named drivers.
The main driver is normally the named driver (or, owner) on the V5 ownership document for the vehicle. When an insurer provides a quote for insurance this is normally based on age, experience, profession and gender. The main driver really dictates the cost of the insurance and has to be named on the policy.
You now have a choice when taking out an insurance policy to name not just one, but multiple additional drivers, or you could select ‘any driver’ which means anyone with a license can get behind the wheel. That being said, some insurance companies will only allow the driver over the age of 25 when ‘any driver’ has been requested. They will state this in their policy terms and conditions.
‘Fronting’ false claims
This is where the main driver is used to reduce the cost of the insurance premium. The main driver is usually older and more experienced to help bring the policy cost down, but the main driver is really someone who's policy would be much more expensive.
Here’s an example;
Your Son is 17 and just passed his driving test. You decide to buy him the car he’s always wanted as a well earnt 'pat on the back'.
Some parents may avoid risk and buy their son an old banger as the risk of bumps and scrapes is higher in the first year, but for this example he’s been bought a brand new Audi A4.
The cost to insure him as the main driver works out at £2500, however if one of the parents goes as the main driver the price drops down significantly to £600.
This example here is very tempting as the parents get to save £1900 in the first year’s cover whoppee! especially as they’re paying out £1000’s for the car in the first place. However, many parents canb easily succumb to this temptation, and this is called 'fronting' and can come with heavy penalties.
So, what are the fronting clues?
- Who drives the car everyday to work, or college?
- Who pays for the maintenance of the vehicle?
Remember, insurance firms have trained staff especially to recognize when ‘fronting’ has been in operation..
So, what’s the consequences?
The first step is the insurance is mark the policy as void, which means the parents could end up with a large bill should their sibling be involved in an accident. Fronting is also treated as insurance fraud which can lead to a criminal offence and therefore the parent receives a criminal record. This then affects the affordability of future insurances, creditcards, mortgages etc.
Future employers may also run a DBS check where a criminal record will show.
What’s the answer?
Check out with your insurance company about 'piggy backing'. This is where the young driver can piggy back on their parents insurance cover to make it cheaper. It still means that the parents may have to pay more, but by being honest with the insurance company they may well try and help you find the cheapest cover the legal way!
We hope this article has been of interest, and as ever we would love to hear your comments below and any experiences you may have had regards to fronting that you can help others.