Drivers looking for cheaper car insurance are urged not to sacrifice cover for less expensive options by the British Insurance Brokers Association (BIBA).
BIBA has discovered a huge increase in the number of insurance brokers reporting drivers downgrading their insurance cover in response to soaring premiums.
In comparison to last year, 57% against 23% of personal insurance brokers and 67% compared to 52% of commercial brokers said their businesses were experiencing customers shunning expensive car insurance.
Motorists are trying to get cheaper car insurance by cutting sums insured, increasing excesses and deleting cover deemed non-essential.
“This is not a cost-effective saving for many motorists who are going without the cover they need in order to save money,” said a BIBA spokesman.
Illegal insurance brokers charged
In some cases, motorists are turning to illegal intermediaries who provide fraudulent car insurance policies, and despite paying the fraudulent brokers fees, the drivers are uninsured in the event of a claim.
A man and woman from Kent and another man from West London were charged with car insurance offences totalling £500,000 involving tax evasion non declaration and non payment of tax to HMRC in respect of their earnings as insurance brokers, fraud while acting as insurance brokers and dishonestly submitting false and misleading information to insurance companies in order to obtain cheap insurance for others.
The case is before Dover magistrates.
Average fine for driving uninsured is £200
The high cost of car insurance is also tempting many younger drivers to take their cars on the road without cover.
Official figures show 23,000 people are injured and 160 killed each year in road accidents involving uninsured drivers.
In 2009, 164,000 people were convicted for driving without insurance.
The average fine for driving without insurance is £200 – while the average cost of insuring a car for a driver under 25 years old is at least £1,000.