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Wednesday, May 03, 2006
A PIONEERING insurance scheme offering young drivers cheaper cover in return for having their speed monitored has been discontinued.
AXA Insurance has dropped its Traksure scheme and are now only offering it as a condition of cover for very young drivers they would otherwise refuse to insure.
The company said the industry-wide reduction in insurance premiums for young drivers had cancelled out the financial incentive for signing up to the scheme and there was no longer a demand for it.
Axa head of corporate affairs Paul Moloney said: "It fizzled out over the past six to eight months.
"We still have people on it and there will still be the occasional 17-year-old on a provisional licence that we will insist take part in it but we are not offering it as a general service."
Hibernian Insurance have also seen a fall-off in demand for their Ignition incentive scheme for inexperienced drivers although the company said it was not planning to withdraw the scheme.
Ignition manager Trevor Lowry said: "Numbers have dropped off because of the fall in premiums generally, but we are still putting 800-1,000 through every month."
Both schemes received international attention for leading the way in incentivising safe driving by young motorists who make up the highest risk category for road accidents.
Traksure used global positioning satellite technology to record the movements of participants up to the age of 25 and those who remained strictly within speed limits benefited from a discount of up to 40% in their insurance cover.
Mr Moloney said premiums for young drivers had fallen dramatically in the three years since the scheme was introduced and the discount was no longer an incentive.
"The average premium for a 17 to 20-year-old when we started this was anything up to €7,000. Now it’s €2-2,500. The economics of paying €900 for Traksure to get a 40% discount on €2,000 doesn’t make sense any more," he said.
Ignition offers discounts for drivers on a provisional licence, or on a full driving licence for less than five years, if they successfully complete a one-day skills assessment.
The participation fee is €225, refundable in most cases, and while there is no age limit for participants, they are typically in their teens and early 20s.
More than 45,000 have been through the assessment since it was introduced three-and-a-half years ago.
About 80% of drivers with full licences pass the test but just 45% of drivers on provisional licences succeed.
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