John Woodcock MP, Labour’s Shadow Transport Minister, in a speech tomorrow (Tuesday 22 November 2011) to the Association of British Insurers Motor Insurance Conference, will propose that unemployed young people should be offered the choice of cheaper “work journeys only” car insurance.
The impact on young people trying to work or stay in education from rocketing insurance premiums, alongside bus cuts and rising train fares, was a key finding from the first stage of Labour’s transport policy review. The average premium for 17-24-year-olds is now in excess of £2,400 – with many offers even higher.
The proposal would form part of new deal with the insurance industry to stop sky-high premiums pricing them out of the chance to find a job or stay on in education or training while addressing the industry's claim that prices have to be so much higher because of the disproportionate number of accidents involving younger drivers. The link between accidents and driving late at night with other young people as passengers has been highlighted as a particular concern by insurers in the past, and Labour’s proposal enables the industry to address this without pricing young people out of driving altogether. Other proposals will include increasing the education and safety awareness of all young drivers and considering further changes to the driving test.
John Woodcock MP, speaking to the ABI Motor Conference, will say:
“With over one million young people unemployed, we need to remove as many barriers as possible to finding work. The sky-high cost of car insurance for young people is making it impossible for those who need to drive to be able to take up a job opportunity or stay on in education or training.
“Instead of simply pricing young people out of driving, insurance companies could help responsible young drivers by offering a choice of cheaper products that provide insurance at specified times to those who need their cars for work, education or training and are prepared to avoid the situations where more accidents occur.
“I hope our offer to work with the insurance companies will be matched by Government Ministers, who have so far been alarmingly complacent and out-of-touch with the transport crisis that is making it even harder for young people to find a job.”