A report by Tower Watson and price comparison site Confused.com has found that car insurance premiums dropped an average of 5.1% in the UK over the last quarter, meaning that rates have fallen by a total of 10.3% since September 2011.
The drop is the biggest since the index began five years ago. Duncan Anderson of Towers Watson, said: ‘Despite this being the fifth successive quarter of flat or falling rates for comprehensive cover, I think the current scale of the annual and quarterly decreases will – and probably should – cause some pause for thought in the insurance industry.’
The survey also found that the largest decrease in rates was seen by young female drivers, suggesting that insurers are attempting to minimise the impact of the future price increases that will affect many women once the new legislation regarding gender pricing comes into effect on December 21st.
“We hear a lot in the media about high insurance premiums, particularly with the price increases scheduled for women drivers, so it is interesting to see that prices have actually fallen over the past 12 months,” comments Dr Geraldine Kaye of GAAPS Actuarial.
Global insurance prices increased by 0.9% in the third quarter of 2012, continuing the gradual increases that began in the second half of 2011
The latest quarterly insurance market briefing by Marsh, also found a 1.4% increase in renewal rates in the third quarter. This was the same level as seen in the second quarter, which Marsh said was evidence that price increases might be stabilising.
Andrew Chester, chief executive of the firm’s placement brokering division Bowring Marsh, said: ‘While the global insurance market continues to be in a state of clear transition, the results for individual insureds vary significantly. With capacity and appetite for well-managed risk still strong, insureds are still able to achieve favourable results on renewal in many lines of business.’
Insurance rates for financial and professional business rose by an average of 1.9% for renewals in the third quarter. In particular, concerns over the eurozone crisis among underwriters saw financial institutions in every major eurozone country experience increases in their liability insurance rates.
Casualty insurance rates rose by an average of 1.2% globally – higher than the 0.8% increase seen in the second quarter of 2012. However, a lack of natural catastrophes so far this year has helped to stabilise property insurance rates.