A fifth of drivers admit car insurance fraudMajority are unaware of 'fronting' crime
23 February 2010
A fifth of motorists admit breaking the law by pretending to be the main driver of a vehicle owned by another motorist. The real numbers breaking the law are probably much higher because 70% of drivers don't know what 'fronting' is.
Fronting, the criminal offence of pretending to be main driver of a vehicle, is big business in the UK. One-in-five motorists admit to declaring themselves the policyholder to save the real main driver a hefty car insurance premium. If discovered, the crime would invalidate an insurance policy and could lead to a criminal record for the perpetrator. It is a crime that attracts some parents who are keen to save their children money.
The research, which was conducted by the Motor Insurers' Bureau (MIB) and Aviva, the UK insurance company, found that only a third of motorists could correctly define fronting. One-in-10 consumers were found to believe that fronting was a legitimate way to get cheaper insurance, while more than a third thought it was a legal loophole that they were able to exploit. When confronted with the true definition, 94% of consumers said fronting was socially unacceptable.
MIB chief executive Ashton West said: 'There is a significant degree of confusion amongst drivers about the importance of giving accurate information about the main driver to an insurer. There is a need to help drivers understand and appreciate the importance of being adequately insured.'
A family affair
Aviva motoring strategist Nigel Bartram stated that families were especially likely to be tempted by fronting. He said: 'Well-meaning parents may consider fronting an insurance policy to try and save money, but this is false economy as those that try to cheat the system by declaring false information will find that their insurance is invalid when they actually need to make a claim on their policy.'
Which? Money when you need it
You can follow @WhichMoney on Twitter to keep up-to-date with our Best Rates and Recommended Provider product and service reviews.
Sign up for the latest money news, best rates and recommended providers in your newsletter every Friday.
Or for money-saving tips, and news of how what's going on in the world of finance affects you, join Melanie Dowding and James Daley for the Which? Money weekly money podcast
For daily consumer news, subscribe to the Which? news RSS feed here. And to find out how we work for you on money issues, visit our personal finance campaigns pages.