Car insurance quotes surge upwards by 15% in a year

Car insurance quotes are accelerating upwards again after a brief respite, says the AA.

A typical comprehensive car insurance quote is now £971.40 – a 5.4% increase from £921.38 over the three months ending December 31.

During 2011, the average price of comprehensive car insurance surged up 15.3% after starting the year at £842.69.

The increases are even bigger for young drivers. Men aged between 17 and 22 can expect to pay an average 33,194, while women the same age are quoted 41% less at £1,879.

The discrepancy is explained by Department of Transport road casualty figures that show 28% of everyone killed or injured on the roads are men under 24, with 1,153 deaths compared to 514 for women aged under 24.

“I expected a much smaller rise, especially following the small fall in premiums during the third quarter of 2011,” said AA Insurance director Simon Douglas.

“The difference shows that the cheaper deals are disappearing. Young drivers seem to be the biggest losers with a higher than average increase for them.

“It’s clear that young drivers continue to be of concern to insurers, while many no longer offer cover to those under 21.”

The price may also reflect the EU court judgment that stops insurers pricing on gender from December 2012 – although the deadline is a year away, policies taken out now cover that period.

“Young women will be see the biggest premium increases,” said Mr Douglas.  “It is unknown territory for insurers who will be careful to avoid significant losses they can ill afford.”

The ruling has opened the way for more widespread use of telematic or ‘black box’ insurance, which sets premiums based on driving performance.

“It puts ownership of responsible and safe driving firmly in the hands of the driver, regardless of their sex.  It is genuinely a gender-neutral product,” Mr Douglas said.

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