The Co-operative is first insurer to reward safe young drivers with cash back

August 16, 2011
  • 88% of young motorists will receive an average £102 in cash-back
  • This is on top of an average £505 saving on premiums for majority of drivers*

Nearly 90% of motorists with The Co-operative’s Young Driver insurance will see over £100 returned to their bank accounts this month, after proving themselves as safe drivers.

The cash-back is a reward to motorists who have kept to speed limits, avoided excessive harsh braking and acceleration and taken corners carefully since the Young Driver scheme was launched in March.

The insurance product uses ‘Smartbox’ telematics technology to monitor how a car is driven and ‘scores’ behaviours every 90 days. If motorists make the top scores in all four categories (speeding, cornering, braking and acceleration, time of day of driving), they are given a partial refund on their initial premium.**David Neave, Director of General Insurance at The Co-operative, said: “Insurance has been rising at a disproportionate rate for young drivers, but telematics offers a genuine solution to stop this trend and prevent a generation of young people being driven off the roads.

“We believe that other insurers need to now play their part in finding similar solutions so that as an industry we can offer fairer prices to all young drivers in the UK.

“More than that, we can see that our ‘carrot’ rather than ‘stick’ approach of rewarding motorists for driving responsibly is leading to better driving behaviours. Our scheme is only in its infancy, but if it was taken up on a larger scale it could be a major step forward in improving the safety on Britain’s roads.”

Which? also believes that telematics car insurance policies have great potential to enable young drivers to get on the road and under their own insurance. Dan Moore, Senior Researcher at Which?, said: “Car insurance is very expensive and systems such as the Co-operative Young Driver scheme should help ensure that a new generation of drivers will have access to more affordable cover, and be rewarded for safe driving.”

As well as rewarding safe drivers, motorists who drive consistently badly, for example repeatedly breaking speed limits or taking corners too sharply, will see penalties applied to their premiums up to 20% of their initial policy price. The Co-operative Insurance will also cancel a customer’s insurance policy if they drive at a speed which would result in a driving ban.***Julie Townsend, Campaigns Director at road safety charity Brake, said: “A huge proportion of deaths and serious injuries on our roads involve young drivers, and many of the victims are young people themselves – road crashes are the biggest killer of this age group. Persuading young drivers to make safer choices is vital in preventing more lives being needlessly cut short.

We applaud this scheme for rewarding young drivers who stay within the law and drive responsibly, such as by slowing down to give themselves more time to react to hazards.

“This is an innovative and practical way to help young people protect themselves and others. We hope it will help to pave the way to a safer driving culture among young people, and fewer devastating deaths and injuries on our roads.”

The data collected from a sample of 1,300 young drivers shows that nearly four in five (78%) consistently drive within speed limits. It also shows that 40% of males and 41% of females achieved the top score in all categories.

Young drivers are eligible for a maximum annual discount of 11% of the initial premium paid. Based on the driving behaviours shown in the first 90 days, the average discount being rewarded is 8.5% of the initial cost.

The average premium paid by customers with Young Driver insurance is £1,727 before discounts are applied, compared to the average premium of £2,294.**** 


* Based on online independent research by Consumer Intelligence during June 2011, 51% of under 25s could achieve this saving on their initial premium.

Their premium could go up as well as down dependent on their driving score throughout the year. As a result their annual saving could be less than their initial saving.

** Annual refunds are up to 11% of the initial premium paid. The annual discount is applied after the first 90 day period and is adjusted if changes in driving behaviour occur. If premiums are paid annually, a lump sum will be rewarded and if premiums are paid monthly, the direct debit will be adjusted to reflect the saving

*** Only three policies have been cancelled since March 2011

**** £2,294 average premium for 17 – 22 year olds sourced from AA British Insurance Premiums Index, 28 July 2011


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 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.


To discus a Young Driver case study, please contact:

Nuala Ryan on 0161 903 3808/