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What is fronting, and why should you avoid it?

1st Feb, 2021

Let’s not kid ourselves – it’s pretty hard to accidentally commit fraud. It’s one of those crimes which tends to involve at least a passing familiarity with the law, as well as a willingness to put conscious effort into to break it. Weirdly though, that’s not always the case – sometimes you can end up committing fraud just by incorrectly filling out a form, knowingly or not.

That’s what often happens to people who commit fronting – a common type of insurance fraud frequently committed by people with misguided good intentions, who simply think they’re doing a favour for a family member or friend. The trouble is that this can often come back to bite them, especially if the friend or family member in question is ever in an accident that causes them to say: I need to scrap my car.

What is fronting?

In a nutshell, fronting is the legal term for what happens when a driver officially declares to their insurance company that they are the main driver of a vehicle, when actually the main driver is someone else.

In case you’re wondering about the definition of the ‘main driver’, it’s exactly what it sounds like – just a name for the person who’ll be driving the car the most. That means whoever’s driving it to work or school, or whoever’s driving it on a daily basis. The main driver is generally the owner or registered keeper of the car, but not necessarily always.

Now, main driver policies tend to be more expensive for younger motorists, because their lack of experience means that insurers regard them as more likely to have an accident on the roads – so their premiums are higher to cover the risk. Older drivers, on the other hand, have more experience and therefore are seen as lower-risk, so they’re charged lower premiums accordingly.

This is why most cases of fronting involve an older and more experienced driver insuring the vehicle in their own name, so that a younger and riskier driver gets cheaper insurance quotes and lower premiums. Perhaps unsurprisingly, it’s particularly common for parents to do this for their children, often as a favour.

Some people don’t realise that this is actually a crime, simply seeing it as a handy way to save Junior some money so that they can get on their feet sooner. Unfortunately though, the authorities tend to take a dim view of it, and if you’re caught doing it, you can be landed with a pretty hefty fine regardless of whether or not you knew it was illegal.

If you’re not sure, don’t put off speaking to your insurer – they’ll always be happy to clarify, and you could end up saving yourself some serious money (and a mark on your credit record) in the long run.

What are the consequences of fronting?

For starters, if you’re caught fronting then your insurance policy could be invalidated or cancelled by your insurer. That can end up causing you quite a few issues in itself, especially since it leaves both older and younger driver without insurance. In the meantime, any insurance claims you might make will be questions, and almost certainly denied by your insurer.

Plus, if you’re involved in a collision with a third party and they make a claim against your insurance, your insurer will be legally obliged to pay them. Understandably they’re not going to be over the moon with that, and they’re very likely to pursue you legally to recover their costs.

You could also end up with points on your licence, or even prosecuted in court for fraud. Obviously, none of those are anyone’s idea of a good time – so if you think there’s even a vague chance that you might be fronting accidentally, it’s a good plan to double check.

Thankfully, younger drivers do have more legal options for lowering their insurance premiums – one of which is simply adding a named driver. A named driver is a more experienced driver who is legally insured to drive a vehicle in which another person is classed as the named driver. That can lower the insurance premiums for the main driver, as the insurer expects the more experienced driver to be behind the wheel at least some of the time – lowering the element of risk involved.

That’s just one legal avenue you could use – there are plenty of others it’s worth exploring too. But we’ll leave those to you, as we’re not car insurance experts here at Scrap Car Network. What we are experts in, though, is getting you the very best price when you scrap your car, and all with an absolute minimum of fuss and hassle. All you need to do is enter a few details into our homepage, and we’ll provide you with an instant online quote then and there. Curious to find out how much your car is worth?

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