Insurance for young drivers 'could become unaffordable'

21.03.2007

Insurers and drivers have been warned that younger people "could become uninsurable" if the number of road fatalities is not reduced.

New research from Cooperative Insurance (CIS) has found that there "is a real danger" of insurers having to raise premiums to a rate unaffordable by most drivers.

The study found that about 35 motorists or passengers aged between 15 and 25 die every day, with the biggest increase in fatalities occurring for motorists under the age of 25.

This could mean that insurers may have to raise the cost of premiums for younger drivers by 22 per cent in the next three years, in comparison to the two per cent rise for all other motorists.

Cooperative Insurance states that it is taking measures to tackle the problem, by increasing the level of education among younger drivers.

The scheme sees CIS insurance in partnership with road charity Brake and aims to bring safety education into the classroom.

David Neave, director of general insurance at CIS, adds that there is a rise in the number of motorists on the roads but without any cover.

He said: "We believe that education is key to reducing the number of young people killed on our roads each year and that is why we are delighted to have worked with Brake to produce the Too Young to Die education packs, to build on the success of the Too Young to Die DVD.

"This initiative provides an ideal opportunity to target and educate a significant number of those most at risk the young and inexperienced."

Brake says the information packs will feature a DVD as well as copies of a new resource booklet aimed at illustrating to younger drivers the importance of travelling safely on Britain's roads.

News of the scheme for younger drivers coincides with statements from Direct Line about an illness normally more likely to affect older drivers: dementia. They have said they will not change the price of their car insurance premiums in the short-term if a person is found to suffer from dementia."

This is despite the fact that a person diagnosed with illness is required to fulfil certain legal requirements to show that they are safe to drive on the road.

Carmel McCarthy, spokesperson for Direct Line, said: "If you are diagnosed with dementia you must immediately inform the DVLA and it is down to the DVLA what license they give you.

"They might restrict it to one year or they might restrict it to three years. There are no implications for premiums because we assess each individual case on their individual merits. It doesn't affect your premiums at all. If we have insured you and you have an accident then you are covered."