April 9, 2014 / 3:10 PM / in 4 years

UK car insurance premiums continue slide into 2014

LONDON, April 9 (Reuters) - The cost of car insurance in the UK has continued to slide in 2014, sweeping aside hopes among insurers that a price war that has raged for two years was starting to ease.

A survey published on Wednesday by price-comparison website Confused.com and consultancy Towers Watson showed the average premium for a comprehensive policy in the UK has dropped below 600 pounds ($1,000) for the first time since 2009.

This marks a 7.5 percent drop in the first quarter of the year, following a 1.1 percent fall in the previous quarter which insurers hoped marked a slowing of the price falls.

The cost of a comprehensive policy has fallen by almost a fifth over the last 12 months, the survey found.

Analysts put falling motor insurance premiums down to growing use of price-comparison websites and legal reforms that make it harder to pursue fraudulent injury claims.

“Good news for the consumer but grim reading indeed for the UK personal motor insurers,” said Shore Capital analyst Eamonn Flanagan, who has a ‘sell’ recommendation on insurers Admiral , Direct Line and Esure. ($1 = 0.5970 British Pounds) (Reporting by Chris Vellacott; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)

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