April 15, 2019 / 12:22 AM / 5 months ago

UK car insurance premiums fall 1 percent in first-quarter, 2019: survey

FILE PHOTO: Cars sit in a traffic jam along the Embankment during the morning rush hour in central London, Britain, August 29, 2017. REUTERS/Hannah McKay/File Photo

(Reuters) - The cost of a comprehensive motor insurance policy fell one percent in Britain in the first quarter, pushed down by uncertainty around the rate used to calculate compensation for personal injuries and the Civil Liability Bill, a survey showed.

The average premium for a comprehensive policy is now 762 pounds ($997.08), according to the latest index from price comparison site Confused.com compiled by insurance advisory company Willis Towers Watson.

“The fluctuation in premium levels seen across recent quarters reflects ongoing uncertainty surrounding the impact of the Civil Liability Bill and the anticipated adjustment to the Ogden rate,” said Stephen Jones, UK P&C Leader at Willis Towers Watson.

Prices in 2018 were also pushed down by changes in the Ogden rate, used to calculate compensation for personal injuries and the Civil Liability Bill, which includes reforms likely to reduce claims for whiplash injuries.

Whiplash is a form of neck injury caused by a sudden jolt that snaps the head backwards but insurers argue reut.rs/2TQ4sBY that many claims in such cases are fraudulent.

The report, based on price figures compiled using anonymous data from all enquiries submitted on Admiral Group’s Confused.com, said 2019 could see further price fluctuations as Civil Liability Bill and Ogden effects overlay upon rising costs of crash repairs.

“With claims costs increasing, new technologies entering the car market we can expect an upturn in premiums is on the horizon,” Steve Fletcher, head of Data Insight at Confused.com, said.

Companies such as Admiral, RSA Insurance Group Plc, Direct Line Insurance Group Plc, esure and Hastings Group Holdings Plc provide motor insurance for Britain’s highly competitive insurance sector.

(Graphic: Britain's motor insurers hit by falling prices, regulation - tmsnrt.rs/2VEqFE5)

Reporting by Samantha Machado and Noor Zainab Hussain in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur

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