The Co-operative Insurance launches groundbreaking Young Driver initiative

16 March 2011

  • First UK insurance product to reward safe driving through discounts
  • Regular feedback enables young drivers to improve their driving
  • Tackles rising cost of motor insurance with ‘pay how you drive’ technology

The Co-operative Insurance has today launched a groundbreaking new Young Driver motor insurance product, which calculates premiums based on the driving behaviours of 17 - 25 year olds.

For the first time in UK Insurance history, young drivers will be rewarded for safer driving. The new, ‘pay how you drive’ product will be on average £328 cheaper than competitor prices, and over three quarters (82%) of young drivers could make a saving1.

The launch comes as young drivers face higher motor insurance premiums, especially in the light of the recent European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruling that banned companies from using gender to set insurance premiums.

David Neave, Director of General Insurance at The Co-operative Insurance, said: “It is a fact that many young people are simply being priced out of owning a car due to the escalating cost of motor insurance for young drivers. To ensure we do not end up with an entire generation priced out of car ownership we are giving them a chance to prove themselves as responsible drivers, and dispel the assumption that all young drivers will drive badly and have accidents.”

Drivers will be assessed every 90 days based on four driving behaviours. If responsible driving behaviours are demonstrated they will receive a Safer Driving Discount (up to 11% of the annual premium)2.

Using data transmitted from a Smartbox3, fitted into the policyholder’s car, via satellite technology, the following behaviours can be used to calculate premiums:

  • Braking and Acceleration
  • Cornering
  • Speed
  • Time of driving (e.g. day time, night time etc)

The new ‘pay how you drive’ product will help make the UK’s roads safer by giving drivers a genuine insight into their driving behaviours. In the UK, an 18 year old driver is more than three times as likely to be involved in a crash as a 48 year old4.

However, if a policyholder consistently drives badly, for example repeatedly breaking speed limits or taking corners too sharply, then their insurance premium could increase by 15% of the initial policy price5.

Furthermore, The Co-operative Insurance will cancel any policyholder’s insurance should they drive so far above the speed limit that a driving ban be imposed by the Courts. Despite work by the Police and road safety charities such as Brake recent figures show that 2,946 people are killed on Britain’s roads every year and a further 244,834 injured6.

The product allows customers to log into a unique online ‘Driving Dashboard’ to see how their driving has been rated against the four driving behaviours. It also gives advice on what they can do to improve. Each behaviour is illustrated by a speed dial and drivers will be rated on a green (good driving), amber (generally good but showing some bad behaviours) and red (bad driving).

David Neave added: “By using the Smartbox telematics technology we can actually see how a young driver behaves behind the wheel. This innovative technology will ensure that young drivers are given access to fairly priced motor insurance, with the added bonus that the better their driving, the bigger the Safer Driving Discount.

“The Co-operative Insurance is committed to young drivers and improving the safety of the UK’s roads. We believe that by giving young drivers the opportunity to log into their individual Driving Dashboard to see how their driving is rated and to access safe driving tips will act as an educative tool and a deterrent against driving badly, which can only be a positive for road users and pedestrians across the UK.”

Julie Townsend, Director of Campaigns at road safety charity Brake, said: “As a charity that cares for bereaved and injured crash victims, we welcome this new approach to encouraging young drivers to keep themselves and others safe. Young drivers are involved in a shockingly high proportion of deaths and serious injuries on our roads, causing trauma and heartbreak to many families every day – and it’s this high level of risk that pushes up their insurance costs. Persuading young drivers to make safer choices, like slowing down and avoiding night-time driving, is vital in preventing more lives being needlessly cut short on our roads.”

For further information please contact

Jenna Moss / Catherine Laycock
The Co-operative Financial Services Press Office
Tel: 0161 903 3831 / 0161 903 3833
Email : /
Twitter: @CFSpressteam


About The Co-operative Financial Services

The Co-operative Financial Services (CFS) is part of The Co-operative Group, which is the world’s largest consumer co-operative with around five million members, over £14 billion turnover, and core business interests in financial services, food, travel, pharmacy and funeral care. The Co-operative Group has over 5,000 retail trading outlets.

Following the merger with Britannia Building Society on 1 August 2009, the new organisation is one of the largest and well diversified mutual businesses operating in both retail and corporate markets.

As part of The Co-operative Group, the new business is characterised by its unique ethical and member reward policies and very high levels of customer advocacy.

The combined business has £70 billion in assets, 12,000 staff and nine million customers. It has over 300 high street branches, 20 corporate banking centres and a major presence in Leek, London, Manchester, Plymouth, Skelmersdale and Stockport. It is the only mutual organisation that enables its members to earn financial rewards for the products they hold, as well as giving them the opportunity to have a say in how the business is run.

1 Consumer Intelligence 1 February - 28 February The Co-operative Insurance Young Driver insurance policy prices v market. 51% will save £328.64 and 82.63% drivers will be quoted less than their renewal price. £328 cheaper in over 50% of cases, in comparison to the average quote.
2DSA - The Schools Programme (Driving Standards Agency 2000).
3 The Smartbox, which fits into the palm of the hand, transmits data from the young driver’s car via satellite to us
4 Returned to the customer in the form of a credit, or a reduced future monthly payment
5DSA, The Schools Programme (Driving Standards Agency 2000)
615% and 20% pro-rata as the Safer Driving Discounts are applied in the last 270 days of the policy.