Car insurance rates miserably high, research says

File this one under “I could have told you that”: car insurance rates have gone up to miserably high prices over the last year or so, research says.

A major car insurance comparison site went ahead and took a look at quarterly motor car insurance premiums year-on-year in order to see how the entirety of the market was doing, revealing – surprise, surprise – that it’s absolutely horrid. Overall, the average premium price for 2016’s first quarter came in at around £478, which doesn’t sound so bad on the face of it, but when compared to the Q1 2015 average price of just £428, that’s a very troubling £50 rate hike!

When broken down regionally, the rate increases were all over the place. However it didn’t look good for anyone really, with regions like Wolverhampton, Worcester and Dartford seeing 21 per cent rate hikes. Meanwhile, Tonbridge motorists saw a 23 per cent increase in their average costs – put into real world terms, that’s about £75 a year. Hardly something to be happy about.

So what in the dickens is going on here? Well some of the problem, according to car insurance companies, is due to high payouts made on whiplash claims. There’s supposedly an epidemic of fraudulent crash claims that are draining the coffers of insurers everywhere – whether or not this is true is debatable. However, what’s very much true is that the insurance premium tax hike in November of last year – which saw the IPT climbing to 9.5 per cent, up from just 6 per cent – is causing quite a bit of pain. Look forward to October of this year when IPT rises another 0.5 percentage points, by the way. I hear it’s going to be brilliant. No, really.

Honestly it’s getting harder and harder to find cheaper car insurance as a result of all this. The added expenses on the part of insurers has cut down on their ability to be competitive, as costs are being passed on to consumers in a big way. Gone are the days from just a few years ago when insurers were falling over each other to offer new policyholders their best rates. Then again, if you ask me, this could have been part of the problem – with drivers switching insurers every year for the best deal, insurance providers were losing shedloads of cash as a result. The good times might have rolled back in 2014 or so, but now it looks like we’re all paying the piper – and paying through the nose, no less.

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