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Can I put my child on my car insurance policy?

Last updated: 18/07/2024 | Estimated Reading Time: 5 minutes

Your child has just passed their driving test and is eager to hit the roads on their own. As a parent, you’ll likely be apprehensive, concerned about their safety and the high cost of insurance cover for young drivers

In some cases, it makes sense to add your child to your car insurance policy, making them a named driver with rights to operate your vehicle.

But doing so can increase your premiums and, if your child is involved in an accident, wreck your no claims bonus. You also must make sure you’re still driving the vehicle more than your child to avoid committing insurance fraud.

Here's how to navigate car insurance for the growing number of drivers in your family.

In This Guide:

Does my child need to be insured to drive my vehicle?

A driver must be insured to drive the vehicle they’re operating, even if it’s just a short distance or occasionally. This means you can’t simply give your child permission to operate your car. 

They’ll need to have specific insurance cover for that vehicle whether it’s as a named driver on your policy or their own policy for the car, either temporary or long-term.

Adding your child as a named driver on your policy

If your child drives your car regularly but less than you do, you might want to add them as a named driver on your own insurance policy. As a named driver, that person will benefit from the same level of insurance cover you do while operating the vehicle. But you’ll remain the policyholder, liable for any premiums or excess payments.

Insurers typically allow you to add up to three named drivers to your policy, so you can add your child and keep your partner as a named driver.

Adding a child as a named driver can be cheaper than taking out a separate car insurance policy for that child.

However, a named driver, especially a young one, will increase your insurance premiums. If your child is involved in a collision and makes a claim on the policy, you could also lose your no claims bonus.

At the same time, most insurers don’t allow named drivers to build up their own no claims bonuses, so your child won’t be in line for a discount when they get their own car and insurance policy.

Some insurance policies require you to pay an amendment fee of up to £35 to add a named driver.

If you’ve added your child as a named driver, you must continue to operate the vehicle more than they do or you’re committing a type of insurance fraud known as fronting.

What is fronting? 

Fronting is a type of insurance fraud in which the main driver is listed only as a named driver on the policy. It’s done when that driver would incur high insurance premiums as the main policyholder.

Fronting is against the law, and the penalties are severe. If your insurance provider detects that the named driver is actually the primary operator of the vehicle, they can reject any claims you make and cancel the policy, potentially leaving you to cover the cost of an accident on your own. If the fraud case goes to court, you could receive an unlimited fine, up to six points on your licence, and a criminal record. 

The insurer may also add you to the Insurance Fraud Register (IFR), an industry-wide database. This can make it more difficult and expensive for you to buy car insurance in the future and to obtain other financial products like loans or mortgages.

To avoid being accused of fronting, you must ensure the driver listed as the policyholder drives the car most frequently. So, if your child is the main driver, they must be the policyholder, even if you're the owner of the vehicle.

If you’re unsure if you’re fronting, such as if you believe you and your child share the car equally, you should consult the insurer. 

Getting your child a separate car insurance policy

If your child is the exclusive driver of a vehicle or the most frequent driver, they need to have a car insurance policy under their own name. 

In some cases, it may also make sense to have a separate car insurance policy for your child even if they’re using a car that you primarily drive. This might be the case if your child has previous driving offences and faces very high premiums, if your child only uses the car only occasionally (in this case, consider short-term insurance for them), if you want to protect your no claims discount, or if you simply want your child to handle and pay for insurance on their own and build up a no claims discount.

There's no getting around the fact that freshly licenced drivers face the highest insurance premiums. But you might be able to reduce these premiums if you add yourself as a named driver to your child’s policy.

Insurers sometimes quote cheaper prices if an experienced driver also uses the car. This tactic will also protect your no claims bonus on your main insurance policy and allow your child to build up a no claims bonus that can give them discounts in the future.

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