You wouldn’t steal a car. You wouldn’t rob a bank. But if you tell some half-truths to your insurer, you could be guilty of car insurance fronting – and that’s a form of fraud.
What is fronting?
Fronting is when the main driver on the insurance policy isn’t really the main driver. Let’s say you’ve passed your test, and you buy your first car. Your parents will have use of the car from time to time, but you’re going to use it every day to drive to and from work.
You look up the insurance cost with you as the main driver, and it makes your eyes water. Insuring the same car with one of your parents as the policy holder but with you as a named driver knocks hundreds from the cost.
It’s only a little fib, isn’t it? More a white lie than a proper whopper.
The trouble is, an insurance company wouldn’t see it that way. Your parents are acting as a ‘front’ for you, the real main driver – hence car insurance fronting.
It’s not a loophole in the insurance system, it’s fraud, and insurers have sophisticated ways of spotting it.
What if my parents have bought the car?
It doesn’t matter. The insurance company needs to have you listed as the main driver on the policy if you really are the main driver (in other words the person who uses the car most).
Are there any punishments for fronting?
Yes. If caught you can expect your insurance to be cancelled. If you make a claim and the insurer discovers car insurance fronting has been committed then they won’t pay out, as well as cancelling the policy.
You could end up in court, with a fine of up to £5000 and six penalty points on your licence. And in your first two years on the road six points is enough to cost you your licence.
So in the long run it’s much better to be completely honest with your insurer.