December 9, 2011

Please say you didn’t buy car insurance during 2011! You did? Oh dear, oh dear! Respected analists Ernst ‘n’ Young reckon those unfortunate enough to have insured their motors after 31 December 2010 have collectively forked out enough to turn motor insurers’ dismal 121% combined operating ratio last year into an almost respectable 101%.

Although, obviously, that could just be a load of old b*llocks. We’ll have to wait until Q4 results are in to see. Or maybe longer. E&Y themselves note that bodily injury claims – which now account for 2/3rds of claims, up from 1/3rd ten years ago – “stay open ever longer, exposed to the ever-present threat of legislative and economic changes,” ever making it ever-harder for insurers (and E&Y) to ever “understand their true performance”.

Willis Re meanwhile, are quoted by Insurance Times making the startling claim that “some” drivers are facing increases of “up to” 50% (reminding Bankstone News that some statisitics are up to 100% meaningless), but that the frequency of large claims of “up to” £5m has dropped by 10% “when measured against premium income.” Put that it your pipe and smoke it, Bankstone News suggests.

The motor market is in a state of bloss, claimed Willis Redirector Richard Flux. People are paying more for their motor insurance, he argued controversially, but are less likely to be involved in serious accidents on our roads (serious for insurers because they tend to involve forking out a load of cash, serious for those involved because they tend to involve getting killed or maimed).

Those serious accidents that do persist in occurring, however, are costing around 10% more to settle than they did in 2010.

So there you have it. Swings and roundabouts really, init.

Completness is a nice ironic touch


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