Report Slowdown in U.K. Auto Rate Increases

June 10, 2002

According to a recent study, UK automobile insurance rates are flattening out after three years of big premium increases.

The report, compiled by market analyst Datamonitor, found that rates had increased 53 percent on average over the last three years with a comprehensive automobile insurance policy now costing UK drivers around £670 ($978) a year.

For the most part UK auto insurers have reached a point where premiums are now expected to return a modest profit in 2002. That’s certainly a welcome improvement – for the insurers at least – after posting an overall £959 million ($1.4 billion) loss in 1998 and £638m $931.5 million) in 2000.

While the BBC report on the study indicated that the slowdown in premium increases was “welcome news for consumers,” it quoted Datamonitor’s Liz Hartley, author of the study, as indicating that there was “little chance of returning to the cheap prices enjoyed by motorists a few years ago.”

“Gone are the days of fierce price-based competition, with low rates for car insurance, meaning that consumers are unlikely to ever again enjoy the low premium prices of the mid-nineties,” she added.

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