er-50s hit by car insurance hike says survey

Motorists aged over 50 have seen a huge hike in car insurance costs over the last 12 months, it was revealed today.

Insurance premiums for this age group have soared 26% in a year, a survey of more than 600,000 people by research firm found.

The average cost of premiums for motorists aged more than 50 rose from £355.52 in June 2009 to £449.66 in June 2010.

The poll also revealed that there were big differences in the average premiums being quoted by insurers specialising in the 50-plus age group, with the highest quote of £563 being some 49% more than the lowest quote of £378.

However, the survey indicated that motor insurers cannot rely on their 50-plus consumers remaining loyal to their brand because 81% of this age group shopped around for quotes at renewal, and having done so, half (50%) of these savvy consumers decided to switch to another insurer.

This shrewd behaviour has paid off because 87.5% of switchers aged 50-plus claimed to be saving money on their new motor insurance, compared with 84.2% of the market as a whole.

The 50-plus segment would appear to be less motivated by price than the market as a whole, with less than half (47%) choosing their insurer because they were the cheapest. This compares with 56% of the whole switching market.