and Towers Watson find car insurance costs are rising

Published: Fri Apr 15 2011 and Towers Watson have revealed that the average cost of comprehensive car insurance stands at £835, which is a rise of £31 in the last 3 months and £220 in the last 12 months. The good news for drivers is that price rises are slowing year-on-year.

Price rises for comprehensive and third party, fire and theft (TPFT) car insurance have slowed for the third quarter running according to the latest and Towers Watson Car Insurance Price Index.

The average price of a comprehensive car insurance policy rose by 3.8% in the first three months of 2011, compared to 7.1% in the final quarter of 2010.This puts the annual rate of price inflation for comprehensive cover at 35.7%, compared to 37.8% at the end of 2010. This represents the first reduction since the middle of 2008.

TPFT cover rose by 6.3% in the quarter and 53.6% over the 12 months to the end of March. The average TPFT premium now stands at £1,121.

Gareth Kloet, head of motor for commented: "Our figures show that despite these rises, there are still good deals to be had. For example, younger drivers and particularly younger men using experienced much lower than average premium increases during the quarter."

Peter Lee of Towers Watson commented: "The private car insurance market has had to keep raising prices to counter poor claims experience. The fact that the market has been virtually stood on its head so far in 2011 by the real and potential impact of increases in insurance premium tax and VAT, the European Court of Justice ruling preventing the future use of gender in pricing, and Government plans for addressing civil litigation costs makes it hardly surprising that many are taking stock of their position."

The biggest price rises in the quarter for comprehensive cover were, perhaps surprisingly, reserved for drivers in the 36-45 age bracket. Their average quote increased by 5%. However, taking gender into account, 66-70 year old women had the highest quarterly increase of 5.8%.

From a regional perspective, drivers in the Manchester/Merseyside area once again felt the full force of price rises with an average increase for comprehensive cover of 5.1%, pushing the annual rate of increase to over 47%. However, those in the wider North West region faced the highest quarterly increase of 5.4%. At postcode level, Blackburn had the highest quarterly price rises but Bradford remains the postcode with the fastest rising prices over the past 12 months at 54.4%.

About is one of the UK's biggest and most popular price comparison services. Launched in 2002, it generates over one million quotes per month. It has expanded its range of comparison products over the last couple of years to include home insurance, travel insurance, pet insurance, van insurance and motorbike insurance, along with specialist products like modified car insurance and car insurance for young drivers. is not a supplier, insurance company or broker. It provides a free, objective and unbiased comparison service. By using cutting-edge technology, it has developed a series of intelligent web-based solutions that evaluate a number of risk factors to help customers with their decision-making, subsequently finding them great deals on a wide-range of insurance products, financial services, utilities and more.'s service is based on the most up-to-date information provided by UK suppliers and industry regulators. is owned by the Admiral Group plc. Admiral listed on the London Stock Exchange in September 2004. is regulated by the FSA.

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