Suffolk young driver’s insurance cap call debated by MPs - should premiums be limited to £1,200?

PUBLISHED: 19:37 20 March 2017 | UPDATED: 11:01 21 March 2017

Rhys Parker, 19 and Julia Radziejewfka, 18. Picture: courtesy of Rhys Parker

Rhys Parker, 19 and Julia Radziejewfka, 18. Picture: courtesy of Rhys Parker

Rhys Parker

Car insurance premiums would go up for everyone if a Lowestoft teenager’s plea for a £1,200 cap for young people went ahead, insurance giant Aviva has claimed.

The warning came as MPs spent more than two hours debating 19-year-old Rhys Parker’s parliamentary petition which called for a cap on the amount 18 to 25-year-old should pay to insure their vehicles.

The Suffolk young driver, from London Road, launched a parliament petition calling for the cap after he was given a quote of £2,500 for his first year of driving. After gaining support from 185,000 people across the UK, it was debated by MPs this evening.

Mr Parker eventually managed to get basic insurance for £1,400, but said he wanted to raise the issue for other young drivers.

He said he and his girlfriend Julia Radziejewfka, who helped with the campaign, were shocked at how many people backed the petition which was widely shared on the social media website Facebook.

He said that people living in places like Lowestoft were reliant on their cars, where a journey could involve numerous buses.

“I need my car to get around,” he said.

But Conservative MP Steve Double who was leading the debate said that capping insurance premiums for young drivers would result in other motorists being unfairly hit in the wallet. He said the cause of high premiums - higher accident rates among younger drivers - needed to be addressed instead by improving the driving test system.

But Mr Parker said he thought some elderly drivers could be just as scary as young people and claimed young drivers “sitting in cars parks revving their engines” were a small minority affecting the premiums of a lot of other.

Responding to the debate transport minister Andrew Jones said he was sympathetic to the high insurance premiums and that the government realised the cost of car insurance was important for young people.

E-petition debates are for discussion only, so MPs will not have the power to introduce any limit on premiums.

Norwich-based Aviva said its price depended on individual risk and some young drivers would be paying more than £1,200, while some might pay less.

A spokesman said statistics showed that young drivers were much more at risk on our roads.

“The cost implication of serious and fatal crashes is huge with pay outs potentially costing millions of pounds. Therefore it’s imperative that insurers can accurately price for risk.”

The spokesman said their Aviva Drive app - which rates cornering, braking and accelerating over 200 miles - could reduce premiums. “Premiums will increase for all other drivers to reflect the fact young drivers are not fully contributing to the pot for the risks they present.”

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