Everything you need to know about adding a named driver

For young drivers first time car insurance can be a tricky road to navigate (pardon the pun). There are a lot of things to consider. First time drivers must have their provisional licence before they can purchase insurance. They also have their 12 required road lessons to think about, and how they’re going to navigate Irish roads. So, it’s understandable that young drivers are daunted and that parents are feeling the secondary nervousness.

Young driver assessments for insurance premiums are based on a calculation of risk, because young drivers are less experienced on the road, they have to pay higher premiums. To alleviate the cost, often parents will consider adding a child as a named driver to their own insurance.

So now that we’ve established that one way to reduce costs is to add first time drivers to a parent’s policy, let’s discuss the details.  When you add a named driver to your insurance, your insurance premium is likely to increase however it is also likely to be far less expensive than young drivers getting insurance solely on their own name. Additionally, by availing of this option your child will be able to earn named driving experience which can be beneficial down the line.

A child of 17 years or older can be added as a named driver on your car insurance policy, provided they are not the main driver and they hold a provisional licence. This type of policy is only suitable however if they only drive the car occasionally. If you tell your insurance broker that you are the main driver but in reality, your child is the primary driver of the car, this could be considered fronting.

Fronting is fraudulent and if it is detected, the insurance policy could be void. This type of activity is a big no-no when it comes to insurance as you don’t want to see an increase to your premium or be caught breaking the law.

If you are adding a named driver to your insurance, and this named driver holds only a provisional licence, there are some elements to remember. As per road traffic legislation, the learner driver must be accompanied by you (the insurance owner and full licence holder) at all times.

If your child drives alone, or if the accompanying driver does not meet the criteria required, then the insurance may be ruled invalid. This could mean that the insurance company may not pay out if your named driver has an accident. Meaning you and your named driver will be liable for all of the damage not only caused to your own car, but to another road users (if involved) also.

So, what are your options if adding a named driver isn’t a viable option?

If your child is going to be the main driver of the car, you may be confused as to how to proceed. If this is the case, and the young driver needs to be the primary driver of a vehicle, then they will need to invest in an insurance policy of their own. They could however add you as a named driver to their policy. This way you avoid all of the stress, strain and repercussions of fronting.

If you decide that going down the named driver root is not for you at all. Then another way your teen can save money is by adhering to the general rules of thumb when it comes to young driver insurance.

Some key steps to consider is the following:

Type of car: When it comes to young driver insurance, the type of car your child drives, is going to have a major impact on the premium. Smaller cars with smaller engines are generally less expensive to insure. Car’s that possess an engine closer to 1.0 are much less expensive to insure then cars that reside closer to 2.0. High power cars similarly are more difficult to insure than cars that have lower power. Young drivers are better off to stay closer to 90hp where possible.

The age of the car:  While this might not be music to anyone’s ears, newer cars are less expensive to insure. Typically, an insurance broker is reluctant to provide cover for a car that is 15 years old or older. This is because cars that are excessively old are more likely to break down and hence a driver is more likely to claim.

Avoid modifications: If your child is hoping to receive a lower premium on their car insurance then it’s vital that all modifications are avoided. Modifications, increase the risk of a collision and thus increase the price to insure it.

Ensure security features are added: While young drivers might not always be openly receptive to parental advice, it is worth mentioning to them, that if they add an approved security system to their car, they are likely to avail of a cheaper insurance premium.

Contact your broker:  The best thing to do as a parent who is aiming to help their child avail of the lowest possible insurance premium while maintaining safe cover is to contact a broker. Brokers are experts in their field they deal with young driver’s insurance day in and day out. They will be able to explain all the options available and they will also be able to secure cheaper premiums.

At insuremycars.ie we are always happy to help parents discuss adding a child as a named driver, or to help advise you on various aspects of your policy. Reach out to us today and we can help you with all your queries.


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