ABI calls for improved young driver safetyOutlines five key priorities on car insurance

22 November 2011

Young drivers

Every day 18 young people are killed or seriously injured on the road

The Association of British Insurers (ABI) has outlined its five key priorities on car insurance, including improving young driver safety.

The urgent need to reduce young driver deaths and serious injuries in order to deliver a better deal for its car insurance customers was highlighted today by the organisation that represents the UK's insurance companies.

Speaking at the ABI Motor Conference today, Otto Thoresen, ABI's director general said: 'As a nation of car users with some of the busiest roads in the world, insurers are committed to providing the best possible deal for motorists.

'One of the key ways to achieve this has to be improving the safety of our young drivers, who continue to make up a disproportionate number of road casualties. Five years ago we called for measures, such as a minimum learning period, to tackle this tragic waste of life, yet every day 18 young people die or are seriously injured on our roads.

'Insurers are actively helping young drivers through the increasing use of telematic 'black box' systems that reward safer driving. But we cannot do this alone. So I reiterate our call to the Government to work with us to tackle this issue. The time has come to seriously consider tougher measures such as a zero tolerance drink-drive limit for drivers under 25, graduated licencing, and restrictions on driving at night and in the early hours.'

Fraud and uninsured drivers

Otto Thoresen also outlined the other priorities for motor insurers around tackling the rising costs of whiplash, compensation reform, fraud and uninsured driving.

'With one person now claiming whiplash on average every minute we must seek better diagnosis of genuine claims, while making it harder to make a fraudulent claim for neck injuries. The long overdue reforms to our dysfunctional compensation system will benefit genuine claimants, deter fraud and, crucially, reduce the excessive legal costs in paying out personal injury claims.

'Latest initiatives in the fight against fraud will see, in early 2012, a new dedicated police insurance fraud unit and an insurance fraud register. And the crackdown on the menace of uninsured driving continues to bear fruit with the number of these illegal and dangerous motorists falling.'

'Few insurance products provoke opinion more than motor insurance. Motorists rightly expect the best value for money products and high standards of service. The industry must continue to up its game to ensure that their expectations are met.'

Paul Davies, insurance analyst at Which?, added: 'The situation has reached the stage now where many young drivers can't afford the insurance premium rates being quoted by companies, with the price often running into £1,000s of pounds. Anything that seeks to bring down the cost of cover for younger drivers and ensures that they aren't tempted to drive uninsured must be a good thing.'

More on this...

  • Which? Recommended car insurers - the companies that deliver on quality of policy and customer service
  • Insurance for young drivers - tips on how to get cheaper premiums if you're a young driver
  • Car insurance slip-ups that could cost you money - five car insurance mistakes you can avoid