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Susan Care

Susan works as editorial assistant and researcher on personal finance stories. She also writes on a number of breaking news stories, as well as offering great money saving tips to shopping-savvy consumers.

One in seven drivers have ‘fronted’ on their car insurance policy

British drivers are increasingly carrying out the illegal practice of ‘fronting’, according to a leading price comparison website.

British drivers are increasingly carrying out the illegal practice of ‘fronting', according to a leading price comparison website.

Fronting is the practice of parent's naming their children as secondary drivers on their insurance policies when their children are in fact the main drivers of a vehicle.

Findings from the study revealed that 27% of motorists consider the tactic as a cost saving measure, whilst 14% have already flouted the law for one or more of their children. 13% of respondents, who have not attempted fronting, said they would do so in the future.

The research also revealed that UK drivers are clueless when it comes to understanding the legal implications of fronting. 33% were unaware of the legalities of ‘fronting', whilst 23% thought the practice was legal. Drivers aged over 55 seemed to be more clued up on the practice, with only 20% thinking ‘fronting' was legal compared to 24 % of those aged 18 – 34 year.

A recent report from market analysts Defaqto also suggested that car insurance companies could do more to make drivers aware of the pitfalls of fronting.

"As soon as it is clear that there is a potential for fronting, a simple message could appear on the customer's quotation screen, or be flagged to sales advisers in a call centre,” said Mike Powell, a general insurance analyst at Defaqto.

"This would then highlight the main issues about the fraudulent aspects of fronting and the possible implications at claim stage.”

In 2011 The Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS), said the number of fronting-related cases has doubled to around 50 a month.

"The biggest portion of the cases we are seeing concern people who have deliberately misled insurers, largely because premiums have gone up so much they thought they were being ‘savvy' by setting the policy up in this way and saving money,” said an FOS spokesperson.