Car insurance most expensive in North West while whiplash claims rocket
Some new research is showing that the cost of car insurance has increased on average in the whole of the UK. On top of this, there's something of a postcode lottery going on too.
The Confused.com/Towers Watson Car Insurance Price Index revealed that an average policy is now priced at £844, which is rising much quicker than the rate of inflation. Comprehensive cover got 4.9% more expensive in 2011, while third party, fire and theft premiums shot up by 10.2%.
If you live in the North West, you could be getting stung the most. The areas worst hit by price rises are Bradford, Oldham and those around Manchester, whose motorists saw their insurance go up by as much as 17.1%.
One of the main causes attributed to the rise in insurance costs is the increase in claims for whiplash injury. Launching the report, committee chairman Louise Ellman said whiplash claims were very costly for insurers to challenge and this was a type of injury "where diagnosis is often subjective".
She continued: "Although we strongly support access to justice, drivers should not be railroaded by cold callers into launching legal action. The insurance industry must abandon sharp practices that push up premiums such as passing drivers' personal data to other parties or taking secretive referral fees from solicitors, garages and car hire firms."
The report said that the rise in personal injury claims, most of which were for whiplash injuries, was "the main reason for the rise in premiums," adding that; "it is difficult to diagnose whiplash objectively and this has deterred insurers from defending claims in court. We recommend that the bar to receiving compensation in whiplash cases should be raised. If the number of whiplash claims does not fall significantly as a result there would, in our view, be a strong case to consider primary legislation to require objective evidence of a whiplash injury, or of the injury having a significant effect on the claimant's life, before compensation was paid."