Premiums officially too high, says Competition Commission

CAR INSURANCE NEWS ROUNDUP: 7 DAYS ENDING 18 DEC 2013:

Well, it’s official: this week the Competition Commission says that the premiums charged by the motor car insurance industry are too damned high.

The Commission, which was given the task of investigating car insurance companies last year by the Office of Fair Trading, found that the OFT’s initial assessment was absolutely correct: insurers are over-charging their customers in a major way.

Premium prices have been driven ever higher by repair and car hire costs, the Commission found. Not only were shoddy practices employed during repairs but premium price hikes took place because while the insurer of the at-fault driver pays for the repairs, the other driver’s insurance completes the arrangements for repair or replacement.

Of course the insurance industry wasn’t about to take these statements of fact lying down. In fact, companies that specialise in providing car hire and repair services have already spoken out saying that any regulations that could upset the delicate balance between who pays for repairs could lead to an assault on their very existence.

The Commission may want some new regulations put in place to fix all the problems it identified during its long investigation, but instituting these changes could run companies like car hire firms into the ground, industry experts have already been saying in the days following the Commission’s report.

So there you have it – insurers and their cronies are protecting their interests in the face of overwhelming evidence that the entire industry is corrupt to the point of actually orchestrating high premium prices for its own benefit. Never have I ever seen such completely shameless behaviour, but I suppose I truly can’t be surprised by this, now can I? I mean insurers have been engaging in sharp business practices for years, so what’s the big deal now that we’ve got actual evidence of these bitter bastards milking every last penny then can from their customers?

I really wonder if there’s actually going to be any reform in the industry. I mean cash is king right now, and if these insurers exert enough financial pressure on lawmakers I’ll be highly surprised if these reform measures are adopted without any sort of ling, hard fight.

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