Car insurance premiums ‘jump by 110’ – BBC News
Drivers saw their car insurance premiums rise by an average of 110 in the last year, a comparison site says.
More expensive repairs and recent government changes to injury payouts pushed up annual insurance costs by 16%, according to Confused.com.
It found drivers paid on average 781 on comparison sites for a comprehensive policy in the year to March 2017.
Average premiums are set to rise to a record high and could pass 1,000 next year, it added.
Newer vehicles have seen some of the biggest rises, because their increasingly complex electronics have made repairs more expensive.
“A prang on a bumper is now not only a piece of plastic to be replaced, but a cacophony of sensors and cameras,” a Confused.com spokeswoman said.
Insurers have also raised prices in response to a new formula for calculating compensation payments, according to the comparison site’s research.
In March, when the changes kicked in, premiums rose 4%, Confused.com found.
The government altered the so-called Ogden Rate for calculating lump sum payments to accident victims who suffer long-term injuries.
Car insurers have warned that policy costs will “soar” to offset the higher payouts.
Confused.com said the pressure from the new formula, as well as an impending rise in Insurance Premium Tax, could result in premiums increasing throughout the year.
“As the industry adapts to additional pressures… we could be on course to drive past the 858 peak we saw in 2011,” said Amanda Stretton, motoring editor at Confused.com.
“As car insurance costs continue to climb, average premiums could even break the 1,000 barrier by next year,” she added.
The Confused.com research, which is carried out together with insurance brokerage Willis Towers Watson, checks more than four million car insurance quotes.
Its figures are higher than the Association of British Insurers, which found the average annual comprehensive policy cost 462 in the last three months of 2016.
But both reported that premiums were increasing in part because of rising repair bills.
According to its research, the highest rise in percentage terms came in Scotland, where car insurance prices increased 21% in the Scottish Highlands.
London drivers still paid the most in premiums though, with prices rising 16% to 1,514 on average in east London.
Men also tended to pay 96 more for insurance policies than women across the UK, it found.
Among age groups, premiums rose 11% for 17 year-olds, 23% for 66 year-olds, but dropped 3% for those aged over 71.
And younger drivers, who tend to make larger and more frequent claims, are set to face the brunt of rising insurance costs in the coming months.
“We would expect premiums for younger drivers to increase at a drastic rate over the next quarter and probably flatten out,” a Confused.com spokeswoman said.
Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-39558258