Be it manual gear or automatic, learning how to drive is never easy. However, it is indeed one of the most rewarding things a young person can do since driving can really provide people with a newfound sense of freedom, responsibility, and maturity in modern society. After all, drivers are not held accountable for only their own lives, but also their passengers and other road users. If you are lucky enough to pass the driving test in Hong Kong, you might be eager to take your family and friends on a joyride as soon as possible. However, there are more things you should consider before getting behind the wheel - one of which is car insurance.
In this Kwiksure article, we are going to share tips on car insurance for new drivers. No matter if you are a new driver yourself, or you are shopping for car insurance for your children, the information in this feature will definitely help you make more sound and informed car insurance decisions.
What exactly is a P License?
After passing their driving tests, new drivers will still have to pass a 12-month mandatory probationary driving period, during which time they will be driving on a Probationary License, also called a P License. Only after the probation period will they be qualified as a fully licensed driver.
As with other learner license systems around the world, this policy is designed for new drivers to gain ample driving experience and ensure a safe driving environment for themselves and other drivers. There are also a number of restrictions imposed on them to ascertain road safety, including:
Being required to display a “P” plate at the front and rear of any vehicle they are driving;
Being restricted from carrying any passenger whilst driving a motorcycle or tricycle;
Being restricted from driving in excess of 70 km/hr, even on roads with a higher speed limit;
Being restricted from driving in the outside lane of expressways with three or more traffic lanes.
You can find more information on P Licenses on our website.
Can P license drivers secure their own insurance?
Under current Hong Kong law, all drivers are required to possess at least a third-party car insurance policy. P License drivers are not an exception. That said, not a lot of insurers will provide insurance to drivers if they have a P license or are below 25 years old since they are statistically more likely to be involved in a collision or commit traffic violations. Even if insurers are willing to insure them, they will usually impose premiums that are two to even three times more expensive than those of other drivers’ insurance plans in order to defray potential costs. For drivers below 21, or when trying to obtain insurance for high-performance vehicles, insurers might even deny coverage entirely.
How to get a cheaper insurance policy for new drivers
Basically, there are two ways you can potentially secure car insurance at a lower premium.
The first is to wait until you have earned two years of experience holding a full driving license. In other words, if you just received your P License, you will have to wait for three years in total for your premiums to go down - one year to get a full driving license, and another two years so that you will no longer be classified as ‘inexperienced’.
It is entirely up to you whether to drive or not during this time period. It is difficult, if not impossible, for the insurers or government to trace your actual driving experience, so even if you have rarely driven a car in the past three years, insurers will still take your ‘accumulated driving experience’ into account.
The second way to lower car insurance premiums is to add yourself as a named driver to another more experienced driver’s car insurance policy, such as that of a parent. However, the policyholder should bear in mind that adding a P License driver to their motor insurance policy will also increase their premiums or/and excesses. Besides, if new drivers are involved in a car accident, the policyholder will have to bear the burden of handling the claims process, accepting relevant responsibility, and even possibly losing their No Claims Discount (NCD).
As a result, some new drivers might choose to continue driving without adding themselves as named drivers on other insurance policies. However, by doing so they are putting themselves at great risk. If an unnamed, young, and inexperienced driver is involved in an accident while driving another person’s car, the insurer might reject claims or even cancel the insurance policy.
What’s the best way of finding suitable insurance?
There are so many insurers on the market, but most of them do not insure new drivers. Given this, It can indeed be an ordeal to search for the right motor insurance on your own. This is when the service of a professional insurance broker, such as Kwiksure Hong Kong, comes in handy!
Unlike insurance agents, insurance brokers work with multiple insurers and know the ins and outs of different products.
Kwiksure Hong Kong boasts 18 years of experience in matching clients with car insurance plans that meet their requirements. Our team of advisors is always on hand to offer you impartial and useful advice. Contact us now to get answers to your questions, a free quote, and a plan comparison!