May 20, 2016

A couple of years ago Pie Minister Davey Cameron told motorists that his government (or the collision government as it was back then) was going to do something about sky-high motor insurance premiums. Cue: rejoicing throughout the land.

Had he gone on to clarify that what he was going to do about sky-high motor insurance premiums was to make them higher still, the celebrations might have been less fervent. But that, bizarrely, is what they’ve done.

The latest thrilling episode of the quarterly BIBA/Accurist Insurance Price Index (which sets itself the thankless task of tracking over £5bn of premiums paid annually via brokers) shows that motorists (or at least those sufficiently old-fashioned to be using brokers) are now paying a whopping 10% more for their cover than they were last summer.

How is that the government’s fault?, you may ask with theatrical incredulity. Is it because they didn’t force motor insurers to pass on the savings they made from the War on Whiplash? No, of course it isn’t! What are you, a communist or something? Look, if you can’t work it out for yourself, you’d better ask BIBA boss Steve ‘Chalky’ White.

It’s IPT, you numpty, he’ll probably tell you – and anyone else who cares to listen. Speaking to a large captive audience at the recent BIBA conference, Whitey went so far as to claim that repeated increases in Insane Punishment Tax constituted “an assault”.

Cleverly mimicking the politician’s own vacuous phraseology, White told Canceller George Orkspawn: “Let’s be clear – insurance is not a luxury item. Our message on IPT is firm: we’ve reached 10, now never again.”

That mysterious last bit about ’10’ may be a reference to how – now that IPT has risen to 10% – it should never again rise to 10%.

Whatever he may have meant, it certainly sounds punchy, and it rhymes.

Which is always good.

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