Published: Mon, April 16, 2018
Business | By Tara Barton

Auto insurance premiums fall for first time in three years

Auto insurance premiums fall for first time in three years

If new auto insurance premiums figures are anything to go by, then it looks like it's good news all-round in the United Kingdom - with consumers seeing the first annual fall in prices in three years, as well as the cost of comprehensive cover dropping quarter-on-quarter among all regions and age groups.

According to the Confused.com Car Insurance Price Index, produced in association with Willis Towers Watson, UK motorists now pay £768 on average as premiums continue to decline. It said prices peaked in the last quarter of 2017 but have since fallen 7%.

The average figure for auto insurance masks huge differences according to the type of driver. The average male driver aged 17 to 20 pays £2,348 on average, compared with £1,699 paid by women of the same age.

Gender differences - men on average pay £95 more than women - persist despite an European Union directive forbidding insurers to assess drivers on their sex. But Confused.com says insurers are not passing on the savings.

Reforms to the law on whiplash and a review into how compensation is paid for long-term injuries were thought to be behind the drop.

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"Insurers feel confident in calming their premiums, and our quotes data shows prices are down annually for the first time in three years", Confused.com head of data insight, Steve Fletcher, said.

As for the different age groups, the largest quarterly cut (11%) was enjoyed by 27-year-old motorists, whose premiums now stand at £933. However, in September the Ministry of Justice said it would revise the scheme.

Meanwhile, the government last month announced measures to curb the high number of whiplash claims that cost United Kingdom drivers more than £1bn a year.

In Scotland, premiums are also still increasing, with motorists in the Scottish Borders area suffering the largest increase (6%) since previous year.

It was found that vehicle insurance premiums are 2% cheaper now than they were this time past year, with motorists paying an average of £13 less for cover.

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