Consumer Intelligence: Annual car insurance price rises slow to 7.5%

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Car insurance premiums are continuing to rise, but the pace of increases has slowed in the past year, Consumer Intelligence has found.

The insurance research firm’s data shows the average most competitive premiums rose 7.5% in the year to February, to £740, but have fallen 3.4% since they peaked in September last year.

Prices have in fact fallen for five consecutive months—the first time since Consumer Intelligence’s records began.

Under-25s have seen a 0.6% fall in their average car insurance bills fall over the past year as telematics helped insurers to cut prices. Around 59% of the most competitive quotes for under-25s come from telematics providers.

Progress on government plans to limit whiplash claims and confirmation of the new personal injury discount rate should also help limit increases, Consumer Intelligence said.

Over-50s drivers are suffering the biggest increases in premiums at 9.7% but still pay average prices of just £404 per year compared to £1,612 for under-25s.

Motorists in London pay the highest premiums at £1,041—nearly double the lowest at £557 in Wales.

John Blevins, pricing expert at Consumer Intelligence, said: “The drop in premiums since September is generally linked to insurers becoming more competitive in order to meet year-end goals.”

“Average premiums are still 28.6% higher than in October 2013 when our records began but with progress on whiplash reforms and the Ogden rate this year should be more positive for motorists.”

“The big driver for car insurance, however, is claims experience and costs with the biggest impact being felt in major urban areas where crime rates are higher.”

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Mark Dugdale is the editor of Claims Media. Mark welcomes articles, letters or feedback from readers and can be reached via mark.dugdale@barkerbrooks.co.uk