Car insurance costs predicted to soar

The sharply increasing cost of car insurance is likely to continue for the foreseeable future, an industry specialist has told MPs.

Motorists, who have had to deal with an average 40% rise in comprehensive cover cost over the past 12 months, should prepare for more double-digit increases, a parliamentary committee was told.

Younger drivers have had to fork out an average 51% extra in the past year.

Insurers say they are pushing up prices so they do not have to cover higher personal injury costs, a rise in claims management firms, dealing with more uninsured drivers and increased fraud, the Transport Select committee heard.

EMB Consultancy's Duncan Anderson told MPs that the recent steep price rises reflect a "catch up" in insurance premiums.

He added: "If claims continue to rise at the rate that they have been increasing, rates will continue to increase as well.

"Bodily injury claims are increasing at a rate of 30% and other claims types are increasing by 5% per annum.

"Overall there might be a 15% to 20% natural increase in claims costs if things continue as they are, which will be reflected in ever-increasing premiums."

Insurance premiums have doubled since 2005, and Mr Anderson said the main driver was the increased cost of bodily injury claims, with both the number of claims and the cost per claim rising, despite the fact that the number of accidents in the UK has fallen.

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