UK motorists not the sharpest tools in the garden shed

CAR INSURANCE NEWS ROUNDUP: WEEK ENDED 20 feb 2013:

Nobody likes being called a bit thick – I know I don’t – but with evidence emerging that UK motorists are wasting £2 billion a year on insurance, the shoe fits.

If the latest research figures from a major car insurance comparison site can be believed, we’re throwing away around £300 in savings each when we simply auto-renew our motor car insurance policies instead of shopping around every year. This making saving car insurance companies about £2 billion extra in increased rates, as the industry gambles on their customers’ misplaced loyalty or even outright apathy when it comes to switching providers every year.

Listen, you don’t need me to tell you that car insurance rates are going up and up, as you can see it quite plainly every time you get your renewal notice. You’re almost guaranteed to be paying more for the same level of cover, yet around seven milion Brits (nearly 20 per cent of the driving population) stubbornly refuse to look for a better deal, and the only ones profiting from such an arrangement are insurers themselves; not the smartest move on our part.

In a related news story I read this week, a bit of clarity was brought to me regarding why our costs keep creeping upwards every year: a new report from a major insurer claims that around £118 of every policy goes directly towards paying the costs of accident claims – in particular those caused by whiplash injuries. This adds up to something like £3 billion in excess costs, the insurer said.

However, it’s possible to reduce these massive costs by around one-half, the report says, if the whiplash claims system was ‘simply’ overhauled. Insurers having to pay only £1.5 billion insread of £3 billion is music to everyone’s ears, as lowered costs means smaller insurance premiums charged to you and me in the long run – and I don’t know about you but I’d rather be paying only around £60 extra on my policy instead of £118..

Premium costs certainly are out of control nowadays, what with premium prices rising by 80 per cent from October of 2008, according to the insurer. The biggest contributor to the problem has been personal injury claims, which i more than a bit queer considering that the nation’s roads are actually safer now than they were then: official figures from the Office of National Statistics show a much lower accident rate, yet for some reason the number of claims has skyrocketed – seems a bit suspect to me.

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