July 11, 2014

Great news, Kids: motor insurance is edging gingerly back towards the kind of pricing levels at which you might actually be able to afford it. Even if you live in Moss Side, Toxteth, Breightmet or some other such TransPennine hell hole.

Just kidding about that last bit, obviously, but car insurance premiums really have come down bait lately – particularly for youngsters – thanks to This Government’s ruthless and highly effective war on claims fraud… oh, no wait… thanks to rabid price-slashing by competition-crazed motor insurers.

In any event, the latest figures to emerge from that well-respected Motor Insurance Numbers Generating Engine the Confused Towels What’s-On Index show average car insurance premiums down 15% in the past year to just £579 (or Just-Five-Seven-Nine, as they say on the telly).

Females aged 17-20 have seen the biggest drop with premiums down 33% (or, dorsally speaking, FFM). Alcoholics Anonymous kind-of agree, reporting average premiums down £105 over the past year.

Last month, Ernst & Young predicted that motor insurers would be back to their usual loss-making ways after recording some kind of fluke hybrid of breaking even/actually making money this year – and that premiums would really need to go up again.

Jimmy Rackoff of Deeeloitte tends to agree with this last bit: “I expect car insurance premiums to start rising in line with inflation over the next 12 months,” he says. “The UK personal motor insurance industry returned to underwriting profitability in 2013. However, these figures were supported by the fact that insurers felt able to release claims reserves held at the previous year-end and this trend cannot go on indefinitely.”

For some strange reason best known to themselves analysts continue to labour under the bizarre misapprehension that motor insurers are out to make a profit. On the contrary, as is generally well understood outside the ivory towels of the financial research and analysis sector, motor insurers do it for the love of it – and for the opportunities it provides to make new friends and influence people.

Of course, they don’t worry to much if they occasionally end up with a quid or two in hand, but they would no more insist on making their customers pay full whack than would Bankstone News charge anything more than a nominal figure for its (several times offered, as yet unaccepted) services as personal masseur to (wildlife ambassador, glamour fitness consultant, and aspiring Miss Bradford) the very lovely Belisha Humplethwaite.

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