Car with raised bonnet

A new report from the Association of British Insurers (ABI) sets out what is needed to help tackle higher motor insurance premiums currently being faced by many UK motorists. ‘Lifting the Bonnet on Car Insurance’ also highlights what motor insurance premiums pay for and shows what steps can be taken to help reduce the cost of cover.

As we reported in April, motor insurance premiums have started to rise again and the latest Motor Insurance Premium Tracker from the ABI shows that the price of the average comprehensive policy has jumped by 10% over the last year to £434.

Keen to find ways to reduce the burden of increased costs the ABI has issued a five point plan for a fairer deal for motorists:

Further reforms to the personal injury compensation system

While further plans to stem frivolous and exaggerated personal injury claims have stalled, with the number of soft tissue injuries rising, the Government needs to push much-needed reform higher up their ‘to do’ list. This delay is costing motorists nearly £3 million a day and encouraging claimant lawyers and claims management companies to exploit the system at the expense of honest motorists.

No further rises in Insurance Premium Tax (IPT)

Successive rises have seen IPT jump by two-thirds in just under a year to 10%. These recent rises alone are likely to add an extra £16 a year to the cost of the average comprehensive motor policy. The Government must not increase this raid on the responsible, which hits people who have done the right thing in taking out insurance.

Making young drivers safer

The Government should introduce changes to how young people learn to drive, such as Graduated Driver Licensing. This could help make them safer drivers and help lower their motor insurance costs.

Offering incentives for the development of safer vehicles

Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) is proven to reduce the frequency and severity of vehicle collisions and the Government should consider making AEB compulsory for all new vehicles. Insurers already recognise this safety feature through a cheaper insurance group. Autonomous vehicle technology could further improve road safety, which is why insurers support its development.

Tackling insurance fraud

In 2015 insurers detected 70,000 fraudulent motor insurance claims valued at £800 million; this is £800 million saved for honest customers. The industry will step up its clampdown on the cheats to protect honest customers and the Government should implement the recommendations of the Insurance Fraud Taskforce.

The report also highlights what motor premiums pay for, such as bodily injury claims which make up 37% of insurers’ costs, despite accounting for only 9% of total motor claims.

James Dalton, ABI’s Director of General Insurance Policy, said: “Every motorist wants competitively priced insurance that meets their needs. Consumers benefit from a very competitive insurance market, but insurers are facing the perfect storm of rising costs from personal injury claims, repair bills and  Insurance Premium Tax.

“This report highlights what insurers are doing to help keep the costs of motor insurance down, and what more needs to be done to ensure honest motorists get the best possible motor insurance deal.”

The full report, Lifting the Bonnet on Car Insurance, can be viewed here.