September 22, 2015

The prospects of anyone ever again making any money in the motor insurance game are looking dimmer than ever, according to a sobre report in oddly coloured money-obsessed national newspaper the Financial Types.

UK private motor claims have surged to around £12 billion per annum, FT reports, with motor underwipers forecast to lose around 5p for every policy they write this year, and the coast of clams expected to increase by around 5% in each of the next two ears.

What’s causing this alarmingly upward claims cost trend? Could it be more people crashing because they’re too busy texting to look where they’re going? Is it because petrol’s so cheap that everybody’s going crazy on the mileage just for the hell of it? Is the proliferation of expensive new medical treatments pumping up those PI bills? Is it all the expensive newfangled gadgetry everybody’s got like parking sensors, heated windscreens and pinball-style badger-flicking auto-paddles pushing up repair costs?

Fascinating as all those theories may be, no, of course it bl**dy isn’t! How many times do we need to tell you journalists this! The problem is ambulance chasing so-called PI lawyers running amok putting people up to making claims they would never have bothered with otherwise.

The government’s War on Whiplash has quite clearly been neither shocking nor awesome enough to prevent a situation in which, as Admiral’s Dave Stevie, lamented to the FT, PI lawyers “have adapted to make an acceptable living.”

All those insurers who cut premiums in the wake of HMG’s crackdown on claims, now look like total nincompoops, the paper reports. Noting that they’ve all now trying really really hard not to compete too fiercely on price (and inevitably not quite succeeding).

The FT quotes our old friends Towels What’s On who claim that that average motor insurance premiums have risen by around £20 to £600 in the past year. This, ironically (in a purely Morisettian sense), appears to have been only 10 or 20 pence less than they needed to.

So what does the future hold for the motor insurance market? Basically more of the same – only more so. That is until driverless cars arrive en masse and the fat lady steps out of one of them and starts singing. Then we can finally put an end to all this nonsense. What a relief that will be!


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