UK: A third of parents say new EU legislation will signal end of insuring their children to drive

21 Nov 2012

  • Bank of Mum and Dad reacts to ban on using gender in insurance

One third (32%) of parents who currently help towards the cost of insuring their children  believe they will have to give up paying for their child’s car insurance following the introduction of  EU Gender Directive changes, which ban insurers from using gender when calculating premiums.

According to new research by the UK’s largest insurer, Aviva¹, a third also state that they will look to change their child’s car for a less expensive model and nearly half (44%) admit they will have to consider increasing the contributions towards their children’s premiums in an effort to keep their children on the roads.

While most parents believe they will either have to pay more or give up paying altogether, they also believe that their children will have to make changes to their driving habits. A quarter of parents (26%) believe  their children will have to drive less after the Directive changes come into force,  and almost a fifth (19%) say their children will have to sell their car and use public transport instead.

According to Aviva’s research, these views may be premature, particularly as there appears to be a lack of understanding about the actual changes the Directive will make to premiums. Despite being less than two months away, only 40% of parents have heard of the Gender Directive changes and just one in five is confident they know what it is actually about.

Over 60% of parents think that the new legislation will increase the cost of car insurance for their children, compared to just 8% who believe it will lower premiums, despite industry figures predicting that premiums are likely to fall by up to 10% for young male drivers while increasing by up to 25% for young female drivers².

Commenting on the findings, Steve Treloar, retail director at Aviva, said: “Parents are clearly worried about the impact of the new legislation and our research shows there’s a lack of understanding about what impact the new Gender Directive changes will have.

“While young drivers are most likely to see a change in their premiums when the EU gender directive comes into force, parents are also likely to notice a difference if they have young drivers included on their own motor insurance, although the potential increase or decrease is likely to be a lot less.

“The research shows parents are concerned their children may have to drive less, or even more seriously, give up driving altogether because of the new legislation.  But the sooner young drivers start earning no claims discount, the sooner they could benefit from lower premiums.”

There are a number of ways younger drivers can help lower their motor premiums, including:

  1. Use telematics or app-based technology – Aviva has developed its ‘Aviva Drive’ app which monitors drivers over 200 miles. The safest drivers could earn a discount of up to 20% off their premium, regardless of age or gender3.
  2. Consider using a less powerful car – generally, the higher the engine size, the higher the premium.  You or the young driver could consider a less powerful and less stereotypical young driver’s car.
  3. Pool your insurance on a multi-vehicle policy - if you insure a second car or van on Aviva’s MultiCar policy you may save up to a third off4 with the ability to insure up to five cars or vans on one policy as long as all the vehicles are registered to the same address. Students with cars, who live away from their permanent home address during term-time, also qualify as long as their car is registered at their parents’ address. Each vehicle's NCD is kept separately, so if the young driver’s vehicle has an accident, the NCD on the parent’s vehicle isn't affected.
  4. Share the car with a parent or other older driver – having such a person on your insurance could lower your premium although any older driver should be a genuine user of the car.  Being a named driver on a parent’s policy could also help children to lower their future premiums. With Aviva, named drivers who remain claim-free earn a named driver discount, to use when they take out their own Aviva motor insurance policy.
  5. Limit your mileage – if you don’t drive that much, consider limiting your mileage on your policy to help lower your premium.
  6. Parking – keeping your car off the road – or better still in a garage – could also reduce the premium.

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Media contacts:

If you are a journalist and would like further information, please contact:

Jenny Chapman
Aviva Press Office: +44 (0) 1603 689894 jenny.a.chapman@aviva.co.uk

Liz Kennett
Aviva Press Office:+44 (0) 1603 681258 liz.kennett@aviva.co.uk

David Chambers
Hill+Knowlton Strategies: +44 (0) 207 413 3155 david.chambers@hkstrategies.com

James Dumelow
Hill+Knowlton Strategies: +44 (0) 207 413 3515 james.dumelow@hkstrategies.com

Methodology and research methods:
¹ Aviva commissioned the Gender Directive research with ICM who interviewed 1,005 UK parents who pay for the car insurance of one or more child, either on a separate vehicle or their own. The research was conducted online in October 2012. 
² (ABI research Paper No 24, 2010).
³ The 20% discount is on top of any other offers for which they are eligible. New customers can currently get 15 weeks' worth of free car insurance if they buy online and have at least four years' no claim discount on their existing car insurance policy.
4 We expect 20% of customers to achieve the maximum saving of a third off. This discount will apply to the cheaper of the two vehicle insurance premiums. Both vehicles must be registered at the same address. Discount does not apply to optional extras. . If you already have more than one car insured with us, you can transfer to our MultiCar policy when one of your cars comes up for renewal. However, as you may already be benefiting from a loyalty discount it may be cheaper to continue insuring them on separate policies, so please call us at renewal to discuss the best option for you.
             
Notes to editors:

Aviva provides insurance, savings and investment products to 43 million customers worldwide.
  
We are the UK’s largest insurer with over 14 million customers and one of Europe’s leading providers of life and general insurance. We combine strong life insurance, general insurance and asset management businesses under one powerful brand. We are committed to serving our customers well in order to build a stronger, sustainable business, which makes a positive contribution to society, and for which our people are proud to work.
 
We are ranked as one of the UK’s top ten most valuable brands and Aviva Plc is in the top 10% of socially responsible companies globally in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index.  In 2011 we invested £5.3m into our UK communities. One in three of our employees were involved in community investment activities which included giving nearly 33,000 hours.
 
Aviva is working in partnership with Railway Children through the Aviva Street to School programme to get children living or working on UK streets back into everyday life. Find out more at www.aviva.co.uk/street-to-school.
 
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