To answer the question about why car insurance is commonly so expensive for young drivers, it might be helpful to go back to one of the most basic principles of insurance generally.
Insurance is all about an assessment of risk. In the case of motor insurance, this means the insurer making an assessment of the likelihood or probability of the insured driving having an accident and needing to claim on his or her policy.
What does that mean for young drivers?
In the case of young drivers, insurers therefore assess the risks by taking into account the individual’s age and by examining the statistics relating to road accidents involving drivers of a similar age.
The sad reality is that young drivers do not fare so well in those statistics. According to the road safety charity Brake, for instance:
- there is a much higher risk amongst young drivers aged 17 to 24 than more mature drivers in being involved in an accident – with those aged between 16 and 19 being more than twice as likely to be killed in such accidents, compared to those aged between 40 and 49;
- although the 17 to 19 year old age group account for fewer than two in every hundred licence holders in Britain, they are nevertheless involved in more than a tenth of all serious and fatal crashes;
- around a quarter of all 18 to 24 year olds are involved in a crash during the two years immediately after their driving test is passed; and
- if you are a male driver, you are even more likely to be involved in an accident than your female counterparts.
Based on evidence such as this, insurers not unreasonably conclude that young drivers represent a higher risk, a greater likelihood of their being involved in an accident, a greater probability that the insurer is going to have to pay out on a claim and, therefore, a higher premium is charged for the insurance cover.
Is there any way around it?
Here at GSI Insurance, we recognise the importance and significance of these road safety statistics. But we also take the view that young drivers deserve a chance and have every right to take to the roads and start to learn the skills to make them competent drivers for the rest of their lives.
Our philosophy and approach is summarised in our guide to insurance for young drivers.
The guide gives advice about choosing the level of insurance – third party, third party fire and theft, or comprehensive – to suit your particular needs. You might want to pay particular attention to a caution given by the government backed Money Advice Service that in many instances the most suitable and affordable cover might be comprehensive insurance.
You might also choose to reduce the cost of the premiums you pay by agreeing to a voluntary excess in addition to the compulsory excess invariably applied to policies for younger drivers (and many others for that matter).
Once safely on the road, of course, and provided you manage to avoid accidents and expensive claims, you are headed in the right direction for significant reductions in the cost of your insurance the next time it comes up for renewal.