Average car insurance bills have increased by 15.7% in the past year – more than five times inflation - with nearly half the rise happening in the three months to May.
Action by regulators to cut the discount or Ogden rate governing payouts in major personal injury claims to minus 0.75% from 2.5% effective from March 20th is driving the rise in bills. June’s Insurance Premium Tax rise will further add to the pressure.
Average motor insurance premiums have increased by 34.6% since October 2013, Consumer Intelligence, whose data is used by the Government’s Office for National Statistics to calculate official inflation statistics, estimates.
Drivers aged between 21 and 24 pay the highest prices at £1,202 but have seen slightly lower annual premium increases at 13.1%. Over-50s motorists are experiencing the biggest rises at 17.9% but pay premiums of £418.
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Motorists in London pay the highest average premiums of £1,000 across the country – more than double the £474 bill in Scotland and the South West - and are seeing average increases of 16.7% as claim costs grow.
John Blevins, Consumer Intelligence pricing expert said: “Price rises had been levelling off at the end of last year but are now rising rapidly as the full impact of the discount rate cut comes into effect.
“Government plans to review the Ogden rate have so far taken a backseat following the Election although there is some relief from plans to push ahead with whiplash reforms announced in the Queen’s Speech.
“However with the impact of the latest Insurance Premium Tax rise still to come into effect drivers need to shop around to limit increases in premiums”
There is some relief for younger drivers – premiums for 21 to 24-year-olds are rising slightly more slowly due to increasing use of telematics or black box technology. Around 62% of the best buy policies for young drivers are now telematics.
The impact of telematics, which rewards good driving behaviour, is even spreading to older drivers – 11% of the best deals for those aged 25-49 are from telematics and 8% for over-50s.
The table below shows the average premiums and increases over the past year across the country. Drivers in Scotland and the South West pay the lowest prices while motorists in the West Midlands and the South East are seeing the lowest average price rises.