Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 30 September 2014

Car insurance premiums fall sharply

The average comprehensive insurance figure, involving quotes from a number of markets, has fallen to £531

Car insurance premiums have fallen sharply, with the average price dipping more than £100, according to the AA.

For the first three months of 2014, the average comprehensive motor insurance "shoparound" figure, involving quotes from a number of markets, had plunged to £531.

This was 5.6% down on the figure for the last three months of 2013 and 16.6% down on the January-March 2013 figure.

The January-March 2014 figure for third party, fire and theft was £725 - an 8.4% drop on the last three months of last year and 18.5% down on the figure for the first three months of 2013.

Young drivers, who have to pay the most for comprehensive insurance, enjoyed the biggest dips in premiums in the first part of this year, with the cost for 17 to 22-year-olds coming down 20.5% compared with the first three months of last year and 23 to 29-year-olds getting a 19.9% fall.

Regionally, the north west of England saw the biggest dip - of 20.9% in premiums at the beginning of this year, while Anglia had the smallest decrease - 13.3%.

However, the AA warned that this could be the end of the good news for motorists.

AA Insurance director Simon Douglas said: "Legal reforms introduced by the Justice Ministry to curb organised attempts at whiplash injury fraud coupled with better fraud detection by insurers have also certainly helped put downward pressure on premiums.

"But despite this there is no evidence that this is delivering any significant reduction in the number and value of personal injury claims."

He went on: "I do expect premiums to start rising again this year unless the fraud issue can be dealt with. If not, it's likely to be young drivers, those with a poor claims history or those in localities where there are frequent claims who will find it most difficult to obtain competitive cover."

Justice Secretary Chris Grayling said: "We are turning the tide on the compensation culture and doing our bit to help drivers with the cost of running a car.

"We have made major law changes which have been a significant factor in these record falls in car insurance premiums. But we want to do more, and we are now going after the fraudsters who force up the costs for everyone else."

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