Vehicle insurance costs fell slightly in Q1, finds Confused.com

Car insurance

Comprehensive vehicle insurance premiums fell by 7% in the first three months of 2018, the largest quarterly drop in four years and the third in a row according to research by Confused in association with Willis Towers Watson.

The average premium for a comprehensive policy is now 768 pounds ($1,096.40), according to the latest index from price comparison site Confused.com, compiled by insurance advisory company Willis Towers Watson.

The average figure for auto insurance masks huge differences according to the type of driver. The cheapest average insurance is paid by female drivers between 61 and 65, at £363.

Insurers are forbidden by law to set different auto insurance premiums exclusively based on gender.

Unless motorists take the time to shop around, it appears any savings aren't being passed on at renewal time with many insurers blatantly increasing premiums for no obvious reason.

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Confused.com attributed the fall in premiums to a mixture of whiplash reforms and the so-called "Ogden rate".

According to the figures, the average premium price has dropped by 2% to £768 over the previous year, with reforms regarding whiplash claims and changes to how compensation is paid being cited for the fall.

Separate figures show the number of female auto owners has risen sharply.

"Insurers feel confident in calming their premiums, and our quotes data shows prices are down annually for the first time in three years", Confused.com head of data insight, Steve Fletcher, said.

Despite the collective fall in premiums, prices in parts of Scotland have increased by as much as 6% in the a year ago, with drivers in the Scottish borders now paying an average of £579. It is also changing the rate used to calculate how much insurers should pay for personal injuries. In September a year ago, the government backtracked after the insurers said the new formula would overcompensate crash victims. Motorists in inner London have seen the biggest fall, down 6%, although they still pay the highest premiums at more than £1,000 a year on average.

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