Parents warned on car insurance fraud‘Fronting’ is a crime, says MIB

07 June 2010

A car crash

The Motor Insurers' Bureau (MIB) has issued a stark warning to parents, amid fears that thousands of UK drivers could be unwittingly committing car insurance fraud.

According to research by the MIB and insurance giant Aviva, 70% of drivers do not understand what it means to ‘front’ an insurance policy.

However, this practice is illegal and could leave a driver uninsured in the event of an accident, liable for third party costs and even at risk of prosecution.

Car insurance fraud

Fronting involves claiming that you are the main driver of a vehicle, when in fact a younger person – often your son or daughter – uses it as their own. A fronted insurance policy will list an older person as the owner and driver of a car that they rarely use, and which may not even be kept at their address.

Fronting can seem tempting, especially for the parents of young drivers whose insurance premiums are prohibitively high. More experienced drivers are perceived as less risky and therefore benefit from competitive car insurance costs, while the price of an insurance policy for a young man aged 17 might run to several thousand pounds.

According the MIB and Aviva’s research, 35% of drivers believe fronting to be a ‘loophole’ on the law, while 10% view it as a legitimate way to obtain cheaper motor insurance.

Nevertheless, fronting is a form of fraud and involves acquiring insurance by declaring false information. This means that anyone driving a fronted vehicle is, in effect, uninsured and could face huge costs – as well as a possible criminal record – should an accident occur.

Cheaper car insurance

The Motor Insurers' Bureau’s warning about fronting forms part of its Stay Insured campaign; an attempt to reach out to drivers who might be tempted to go without insurance in the current economic climate.

Aviva points out that there are things younger drivers can do to reduce the cost of car insurance, including choosing to drive a less powerful vehicle, shopping around for cover and taking a Pass Plus course.

The Which? Car insurance review rates car cover on quality as well as cost, to ensure that – whatever your age – you find a policy that offers value for money. To find out more about how small mistakes could make your car insurance more expensive, read our Car insurance slip-ups that could cost you money guide.

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