The typical comprehensive car insurance quote for a motorist who shops around has risen by £50 in just three months, and is £130 higher than a year ago.
That was the warning from the AA, which says the “shoparound” price for annual comprehensive cover stands at £971, compared with £921 in October 2011 and £842 in January 2011.
The AA’s shoparound figure is an average of the three cheapest quotes from a range of insurers and brokers, and covers a range of ages.
Drivers between 17 and 22 have been hit by the steepest shoparound percentage increase since October 2011, with the typical premium for this age group standing at £2,497 following a 6.6% rise in the space of three months. By contrast, the average shoparound premium for those aged 60-69 rose by slightly more than 5% during the last quarter of 2011 to reach £475.Simon Douglas, director of AA Insurance, which publishes the British Insurance Premium Index, said: “The cheaper deals are disappearing. Young drivers seem to be the biggest losers with a higher than average increase for them. It is clear that young drivers continue to be of concern to insurers, while many no longer offer cover to those under 21.”
The average shoparound third party, fire and theft quote stands at £1,495. 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 – typically young drivers with older cars.
Scotland remains the cheapest part of the UK when it comes to insuring a car, with the shoparound premium for comprehensive cover at £587. The north-west is the most costly with average premiums at £1,615, followed by London at £1,120.
The warning follows a House of Commons transport committee report which found an increase in claims for whiplash injury to be the main cause of the rise of 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 when setting premiums from December 2012. “Young women will see the biggest premium increases,” Douglas said. “It is unknown territory for insurers, who will be careful to avoid significant losses they can ill afford.”
Scott Kelly, head of car insurance at Gocompare.com, said the figures show that, after a brief respite from increasing car insurance premiums, “the trend continues upwards, and drivers are still likely to face double-digit price hikes on their renewal notices”.