The insurance industry should re-examine high premiums slammed on learner drivers to encourage more young people to take out policies, the report of an influential group of MPs is expected to say this week.
The Transport Select Committee’s report on young drivers, published on Thursday, will urge insurers to reduce premiums for supervised learners to encourage them to gain maximum practice.
A Whitehall source said: “In essence what the committee is worried about is the high costs that young people cannot afford and that they are instead choosing to drive uninsured.
“We want a reduction in un-insured drivers and high premiums are not helping. They should be lowered for supervised learners.”
In response the ABI warned of the dangers of subsidising young drivers’ motor premiums saying that the risk posed by young drivers needed to be reduced.
The report will also call on the insurance industry to make data available to the Department for Transport to help inform road safety policies as a “matter of national importance and collaboration and co-operation are essential.”
It is also expected to commend insurer’s schemes which offer discounts, designed to encourage young drivers to modify their driving behaviour, by avoiding high-risk driving, such as driving at night.
The report will urge insurers to explore what contribution could be made through insurance packages which draw attention to the safety risks posed by driving older vehicles with less effective safety features.
The ABI, which said it would reserve comment on the report until full details were available, has warned against subsidising one sector of the market for another.
A spokesman said: “Insurers have to set premiums that reflect the level of risk imposed. We would love to reduce premiums for young drivers, but we have to create an environ-ment where the risk to young drivers falls.”
Road death statistics
Road death is the biggest killer of 16 to 24 year olds
In 2005, there were 1,077 fatalities that involved young drivers. A 17 to 20 year old male driver is ten times more likely to be killed or seriously injured than other drivers.
The average premium for a learner driver is around Â£400 to Â£500. That is less than for a newly qualified driver, for whom it would be over Â£1,000.