October 11, 2017

The third quarter of 2017 saw motor insurance premiums savagely slashed across the board: the biggest third quarter reduction seen in over 300 years.

That (or something vaguely like it), is according to the latest update from the Confusing Car Insurance Price Index (CCIPI) produced in association with Willy Watson’s Towels.

An orgy of cut-throat competition doing Q3 17 saw insurers literally falling over themselves to offer motor insurance customers crazy-cheap unrepeatable deals, left, right and, as it were, centre.

Why the sudden premium-pruning pandemonium?

It could be because insurers had their heads turned by the (admittedly somewhat dim and distant) prospect of a potential right-sizing of the ludicrous -7,500% Ogden rate summarily introduced by rogue Juice Secretary Elizabeth “Mad Lizzy” Truss earlier this year (see last week’s and almost any other week’s Bankstone News).

Experts (if you’ll forgive Bankstone News’ fawning deterrence to this long-since discredited class of human being), tend to concur. Former Sex Pistol Steve Jones, now head of P&C pricing at What’s On Willy’s Towel, reckons insurers’ behaviour could be at least partially attributable to “an anticipated future [Ogden] rate of perhaps between 0% and 1%”.

But the recent downward swoop of the motor-rates roller-coaster may soon give way once more to the rattling, churning upward grind more familiar to its riders in recent times. September, the final month of the quarter, already saw a slight uptick, partially correcting the mad months of summer when rates free-fell like the proverbial stone. (Not the one that rolls whilst failing to gather moss, obviously. The one that is unconditionally influenced by gravity.)

Over the entire year to the end of last month, most UK motor policyholders have seen double-digit price rises, according to Wild Willy Watson’s Confusing Towels, whilst really old drivers (60 and over) have been especially hit by increases of almost 25%, while the youngsters (under 21s) who actually cause most accidents have been treated least brutally, presumably on the basis that they’ve suffered enough and we don’t want to put them off (compulsory) motor insurance altogether.

Steve Felcher of Confusing.comb neatly sums up what we’re probably all thinking with the apothegmatic conclusion that “the dramatic Ogden rate cut from 2.5% to -0.75% in February 2017 sparked a surge of car insurance price hikes across the UK” but the news last month that Ogden might shift back to 1% “could explain why insurers have been able to calm their pricing slightly this quarter.”

Next year, Steve warns, prices could well be the highest they’ve ever been. In which case it will probably pay to shop around. Shame he didn’t think to give us some hints on how exactly we might go about doing that!


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