Drivers hammered as insurance bills race away

MoneyExpert.com urges motorists to shop around

More than one in four drivers have seen their car insurance bill rise piling more pressure on already stretched budgets, new research from MoneyExpert.com* shows.

Average car insurance premiums have risen by around six per cent in the past year** to around £682 with experts predicting premiums will rise again in 2008 by as much as 10 per cent.

However MoneyExpert.com is urging motorists to shop around after its research revealed up to 9.6 million drivers simply swallowed the increased bill imposed by their insurer.

The independent financial comparison website is concerned the shopping around message is failing to sink in – 28 per cent of drivers questioned accepted the increase while another 30 per cent moved to another insurer when confronted with an increase.

Sean Gardner of MoneyExpert.com said: "It is worrying that when faced with an increase in car insurance premiums of more than double the rate of inflation so many drivers just shrug their shoulders and accept it."

"Motorists are already having to cope with soaring petrol prices – assuming they can actually get petrol. Insurance costs simply add to the burden."

"The pressure on family finances is building from all sides with mortgages and supermarket bills rising. Any chance to save some cash should be grabbed with both hands."

"Drivers can shop around easily by comparing insurance quotes from different companies. Rising insurance costs are one problem you can at least try to steer clear off."

A lucky 14 per cent of drivers say their insurance premium stayed the same when they last renewed while another 17 per cent saw a decrease.

The most recent figures from MoneyExpert.com’s authoritative Switching Index shows that some 5.9 million people switch car insurance provider in the past six months, as the pressure grows on consumers to find the best deal.

MoneyExpert.com says that regularly reviewing providers for a range of services is good practice but warns consumers that it might not always make financial sense to switch.

Notes:

* Online Research carried out by YouGov who interviewed 2,125 GB adults (18+) between 31st March and 2nd April 2008. Grossed up using ONS statistics on no. of households and adults in Great Britain.
** AA insurance index

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