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Why Young Drivers Pay so Much for Car Insurance

There are a lot of milestones we look towards in life, such as turning 16, 18 and then 21 years of age. For many though, seventeen has to be as big as any of those three as it's when we are legally allowed to drive a car. But while passing your driving test appears to be getting increasingly difficult as time goes by, things don't get much easier once you've passed your all-important test either, especially when it comes to getting yourself insured. Let's be honest here though; car insurance for young drivers has always been expensive. But today it's now becoming almost totally prohibitive, so let's look at just why it is so expensive for someone young to insure a car.

Risk

Whether you like to accept it or not, and no matter how good a driver you think you are, the reason a young driver has to pay so much for car insurance is they represent a higher risk than older drivers. This isn't just an opinion and it's not just anecdotal. There are many, many statistics to prove younger drivers are a greater risk, and they make pretty alarming reading. For example, although young drivers (aged 17-24 years) make up only 1.5 percent of drivers, they account for a staggering 9 percent of fatal accidents where they're the driver.

Of course, insurance risk isn't just calculated on fatalities as accidents of all types are taken into consideration. Perhaps the statistic that shows best why young driver insurance is so high is the fact that when it comes to drivers between 18 and 24 years of age, 23 percent will have a crash within the first two years of passing their test. And if you've heard that young female drivers pay less than young men for their insurance there's a reason for that, and it's because many, many more young male drivers are involved in accidents than their female counterparts.

When will things get better?

The truth is there's little or no prospect of the situation improving for young drivers and their sky-high insurance costs, in fact, it's probably going to get worse. The government has recently changed the way compensation claims are calculated for victims of accidents resulting in life-altering injuries. The compensation amount received is reduced according to the amount interest that could be earned through investing it, which is called the discount rate. For 16 years now, this rate has been set at 2.5 percent but it's now being reduced to -0.75 percent to more accurately reflect the ongoing low bank rates. This will result in victims receiving more money, and also means insurers will have to pay more out and that will be recovered through higher premiums, especially for young drivers.

How to reduce premiums

There's no silver bullet for reducing insurance premiums for young drivers, but there are some things that can be done to keep them to a minimum.

Don't think recent changes to compensation rules will only hit young drivers hard though. It's also coming in thanks to European law that compensation will have to now also be paid to drivers if they're injured in an accident, even if they don't have any insurance themselves. All drivers of all ages paying for vehicle insurance will find themselves paying for that one.

05 April 2017

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