Car insurance quotes 'jump £50'


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The Independent Online

The typical comprehensive car insurance quote for a consumer who shops around has risen by £50 in just three months as cheaper deals are disappearing, the AA warned today.

The "shop around" price for annual comprehensive cover stands at £971.40, a 5.4% increase from £921.38 in October 2011, according to the body's British Insurance Premium Index.

The figure takes the average of the three cheapest quotes from a range of insurers, brokers and schemes represents a 15.3% increase on a year ago.

By contrast, the average comprehensive cover premium when the full range of quotes was taken into account rose by just 0.6% over three months to £1,458.48.

Drivers aged between 17 and 22 have been hit by the steepest shop around percentage increases since October, with the typical premium for this age group standing at £2,497, a 6.6% rise.

Simon Douglas, director of AA Insurance, said: "The difference shows that the cheaper deals are disappearing.

"Young drivers seem to be the biggest losers with a higher than average increase for them.

"It's clear that young drivers continue to be of concern to insurers, while many no longer offer cover to those under 21."

The average shop around third party fire and theft quote stands at £1,495.71, a 2.4% or £35 increase on October.

The AA said the figure is higher than the comprehensive premium because it reflects the risks for people who tend to take out this type of cover, who are typically young drivers with older cars.

Scotland remains the cheapest part of Britain to insure a car, the AA said, with the shop around premium for comprehensive cover standing at £587.

The North West is the most costly, with average premiums at £1,615, followed by London, where they stand at £1,120.

Yorkshire is only £1 behind London, with shop around premiums there standing at around £1,119.

The report follows a House of Commons Transport Committee report published last week, which found that the increase in claims for whiplash injury is the main cause of the rise in motor insurance premiums.

MPs called on the insurance industry to abandon sharp practices in the management of car accident claims.

The AA warned that following European rule changes, insurers will no longer be able to take gender into account from December this year.

"Young women will see the biggest premium increases, Mr Douglas said. "It is unknown territory for insurers who will be careful to avoid significant losses they can ill afford."

:: The AA also found that the weather has put pressure on home insurance premiums, with shop around buildings and contents insurance rising by 5.6% or just over £10 since January last year to average £211.49.

Mr Douglas said that "increasingly frequent severe weather" had added to insurers' worries.

He added: "In addition, economic pressures result in more theft claims. According to the British Crime Survey, domestic burglary in England and Wales grew by 10% over the 12 months to the end of June 2011."


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