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Car Insurance Crime For Learners

By Dave Holister
29th September, 2010

 

I recently tried to add my son as a named driver to my car insurance so that I could teach him to drive and give him extra practice when coupled in with professional driving lessons. I was shocked when my insurance company told me it would cost over £1000, where I am currently paying £240.
 
I started to look around the Internet and found that most insurance companies would charge over £1,700. I phoned a few companies direct and found that the cheapest quote would be £910.
 
What struck me is that I was asking for a provisional driver to be added. He would be under mine or perhaps my wife’s supervision. This is madness. Only 8 years ago my daughter was in the same position and I recall adding her to both mine and my wife’s policy for no more than £100 – after she had passed her test. So what’s changed? Has the number of learner driver accidents increased significantly? Have learner drivers become a great deal more aggressive on our roads? I doubt it. I think this is yet another example of how the once Great Britain is being screwed by companies who can profitably play the pathetic UK prohibitive rules of engagement.
 
This country has an obsession that, by increasing the basic cost of something, you make it prohibitive. The most recent example is booze; make it more expensive and the booze culture will disappear. Not so, you just end up with a load of drunken louts who have more spending power than the rest of us.
 
So now the British government are supporting the insurance companies that have made it so that only wealthy people can afford to teach their kids how to drive.    
 
I live out in the sticks, which could be argued is my choice. However, it was never the choice of my children. They will grow up and make their own decisions, but right now my son live with us in a sleepy village. Therefore, learning to drive is his life-line to independence. If we cannot afford to teach him to drive, how will he be given a fair start in life? He could use public transport if the public transport people could be bothered to lay on a decent level of service and go to where he needs to get to at the times he needs it. Two buses a day don’t quite cut the mustard.
 
Why are insurance companies allowed to rip us off? For most of us the great insurance rip-off starts with the No Claims Bonus. There was me thinking that it was ‘my’ Bonus. Not so. It applies only to me and the specific car I am driving; even though I can only drive one car at a time. So I cannot, for example, insure myself with my car and my wife’s car with one Bonus. There have been times when this would have suited my life-style, but no, the insurance companies are able to get around discounting me by their introduction of the single car Bonus rule.
 
When I am at work, I could be sacked for being sexist or ageist. Not so with insurance companies. They can beckon to ladies only and they are allowed to set rules to discriminate the under 25s. They have policies for over 50s and there are companies who say they have great policies for young drivers (if you call a quote over £900 great). Statistically I am sure that they can compartmentalise groups of drivers by age and by sex. However, I am one person that cannot be compartmentalised and I am sure that there are hundreds of thousands of people just like me: a bloke who has never had an accident – not even when I was a young driver on a bike and in a car.
 
Drivers should be treated the same regardless of age and sex and be given the benefit of the insurance company’s doubt. If drivers have an accident, then each case can be assessed on its merits and insurance companies can levy an increase in charges accordingly.
 
There is so much wrong with car insurance. People are being treating grossly unfairly and low income families are suffering the most. For families that live where public transport is a joke, it’s bad enough that fuel charges are unnecessarily high, save for this Great British car insurance crime.  
 
I’ll be writing to my MP to complain. I hope you do the same if you feel the same as me.

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