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Fronting – What is it?

Fronting has recently again been covered in the national press.

Although it has been blogged on before, it does no harm to again issue some warnings about fronting so as to keep this potentially dangerous issue at the forefront of your attention. So, highlighted here are some key points about what this practice means and why it may prove to be catastrophic for you should you engage in it – even accidentally.


This car insurance issue essentially involves making a false declaration to an insurance provider. It means that the perpetrator has declared person “A” to be the main driver of the vehicle when in reality it will be person “B”.

This is perhaps most commonly encountered in situations where parents or older family members, are trying to save younger family members money on their car insurance.

Why this is an issue

Insurance providers offer car insurance on the basis of their assessment of the risks involved in covering the type of vehicle, how it will be used and particularly the background of the people driving it. When talking about a driver’s personal characteristics, age is typically critically important.

That’s because statistics show that if all other things are roughly equal, younger drivers are more likely to have accidents resulting in claims than older more experienced drivers.

This fact of life almost inevitably means that car insurance in the name of someone who is categorised as a younger driver will typically be more expensive than the same cover for someone who is perhaps just a few years older.

However, many policies allow you to stipulate the main driver and a number of other named drivers who will use the vehicle occasionally. This is perfectly legitimate and not cause for concern.

Fronting arises when one of the named secondary drivers is, in fact, the person who is largely the main user of the vehicle.

The consequences

It is worth being clear that fronting is typically:

  • a perfectly valid reason for an insurance provider to refuse an insurance claim;
  • depending upon the exact circumstances, possibly fraud that can result in prosecution and a criminal record.

Unintentional fronting

Not all fronting has its origins in an attempt to mislead or defraud the insurance provider.

It can happen semi-accidentally in circumstances where originally the secondary driver was only using a vehicle occasionally but where family circumstances have changed over time. Perhaps now a young secondary driver on the policy has, without conscious design, evolved into the main driver.

The car insurance implications of this may not be immediately clear to the main policyholder but it is still a situation that is effectively fronting.

This is why it is important that you contact your insurance provider immediately should you find that your typical usage patterns for your vehicle are changing such that you yourself are no longer the primary driver.

Young person’s car insurance

In practice, needing to pay extra for your car insurance when you are young is something of an annoying rite of passage. It reflects market statistics and is not a personal judgment on the younger driver concerned.

Even so, it is generally acknowledged that finding appropriate younger driver insurance can be something of a challenge although there are some excellent options out there that may help.

So, to repeat, do make sure you contact your insurance provider should:

  • you find that whatever your intentions may have been at the time you took out the policy, today’s reality is that a younger driver in your household is now using your vehicle far more than you are;
  • you require an appropriate and cost-effective car insurance policy for young drivers.
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