/ Motoring

Has your car insurance premium crept up?

Car insurance cost

For drivers, 2017 has been a mixed bag when it comes to car insurance. If you’re up for the fight, it can be a tough challenge to score a cheaper insurance premium. So, do you feel like a car insurance winner or loser in 2017?

Arguably, never before have drivers been armed with a better arsenal for ensuring they get a competitive deal when it comes to car insurance. Yet for many, their premiums are now more expensive than ever – so what’s going on?

Car insurance

Back in February, insurers were required to start providing information on their websites about how their no-claims discount structure works. This change should help drivers work out whether paying an extra £60 or so for No Claims Discount Protection is actually worth it.

Then in April (and after no small amount of Which? campaigning on insurance renewals), it became compulsory for insurers to provide customers with a reminder of their previous year’s premium along with their renewal offer. This way, it should be easier to spot how much the premium has changed.

Besides these changes, finding a competitive quote can be done quickly using multiple comparison sites (although comparing cover can be trickier). At the very least, these comparison quotes give drivers a basis on which to haggle with their current insurer.

Insurance hikes

On the flipside, 2017 is looking like a year of severe increases for insurance premiums. As of today, Insurance Premium Tax has been notched up to 12% (from 10%) – having doubled over the past six years, raising three times in the past 24 months alone.

On top of that, recent legislation around how compensation payments are calculated is also affecting what drivers are charged – with estimated increases of 10% across this year on the average motor insurance premium, and larger hikes for younger drivers and those over 65.

According to the comparison website, Comparethemarket.com, the average annual car insurance policy will rise to about £800 for the first time on record – and could hit £1,000 by the end of next year.

Have you saved on your car insurance in 2017?

Yes - I saved by changing insurers (36%, 354 Votes)

No - my car insurance has gone up (33%, 324 Votes)

Yes - I haggled and saved money (32%, 314 Votes)

Total Voters: 992

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So, have you noticed any unexpected increases in your premium, perhaps after a landmark birthday or completely out of the blue? Have you been driven to investigate the rest of the market after a big hike?

Comments

My car insurance premium is due in July and I will have information about last year’s premium to hand, but if insurance companies are required to provide this information at renewal time, it may help some being taken in by price hikes.

Why do we have to play the silly game of shopping around for better quotes when companies should want to keep customers who have had no claims during the year?

If my insurer has hiked my premium then I will contact them to tell them I will not be renewing. When I do this I’m usually met with criticism for not coming back and asking for a better price. No thank-you, I politely reply. You have had your chance to retain my custom and you failed.

I hope to come back and say that my insurer did not play this game.

Perhaps if we all took this approach insurance companies would stop playing this silly “game”. However insurance companies like many businesses aim to increase their profitability every year and rely on most customers not bothering to change or even check whether they are getting a good deal. Just like the energy companies they rely on customer inertia. If everyone checked and went for the best deal then those of us who check now would not be able to get such a good deal.

I understand the reason for their approach but if a company hikes my premium then they are very likely to lose my custom. If I ran an insurance company I would want to keep customers who had proved to be a good risk.

Car Insurance, Household Insurance, Mobile Phone contracts – you have to fish for the best prices and as most of us don’t the insurers will carry on ripping us off.
I’m as bad as any – haven’t tried to get quotes for my domestic fuels and sat on the same mortgage for 25 years!!

As I reached 70 I have not noticed any substantial increase in my car insurance cost [obviously have full NCB], but I will monitor it every year until I decide to give driving the heave ho. I also think as a 70 year old I am far more cautious with my driving than lots of so called younger motorists. I have done the speeding bit in my youth days got the tee shirt but retired it along time ago. I do think that insurance companies should not penalise someone because he reaches 70 or so, in fact they should look after him. I will though like what everyone should do is search the motor insurance markets every year to ensure I am not being ripped off for other peoples mishaps ans claims.

I reached 71 in April. In my 70th year I cannot say that my car insurance has increased. My Renault clio is now cheaper than ever (£117 ) and my Maserati has been well below £400 for some years. Both full comp with long no claims and a clean licence. Even my Ducati is well below £100. That said: I NEVER allow Auto-Renew. I do a full market survey every year at renewal time and I have no hesitation in switching to the best value offered (not necessarily the cheapest).

Jim Pick says:
2 June 2017

All insurance companies are robbing gits they all like taking money off you and charging the earth then fight you all the way when you put a claim in. of course they think you are lying just the way they do. WHAT A RIP OFF

I’ve been a Very Happy LV customer for many years, my home and 3 vehicles are all insured with them.
One car policy is due for renewal on the 23rd June and for years the premiums have all been about £360 on Auto renewal but this year after warnings in the Press of Insurance Premium increases I was still Shocked when it rose to £531.
After recovering from the shock I put my details on various comparison sites for a like for like quote, surprisingly one of the Best I got was from LV at £415.
I called LV and asked if they could check my renewal figure £531, I was told the increase was due to an Increase in Insurance Tax and also possibly due to the age of my car (2 yrs old) , where I lived (Surrey) and that my Policy was on Auto Renewal. When I said that I’d got the premium down to £415 on there own Webb site they didn’t sound surprised.
I have now ask LV to remove Auto Renewal from all of my policies and in future I will shop around each year.

Peter Davies says:
15 June 2017

I also had Auto renewal with LV and the price shot up!
Now with Aviva who saved me over #100 !

I went through this loop with LV this year, they asked for a large increase. I used a price comparison site and renewed with LV in a few minutes at a premium that was very similar to last year’s. They have a good reputation as a company so I am happy to be with them. I have only ever had one claim in over fifty years of driving, I guess I have been very lucky.

Natasha says:
17 June 2017

I’ve been with LV through Nationwide for many years. Every year there is a big hike [usually 20-25%]. Every year I check on line with LV and find I can reduce the increase to around £10. Every year I ring them and they accept the reduced premium. It has become a ritual that I just accept, and I suppose they hope one day I just won’t notice [but having last year’s premium included on the letter makes that unlikely].

I feel that the rise in the insurance premium tax is being used as a scapegoat for poor commercial performance by the insurance companies. There are several other factors involved including the rising cost of repairs, parts, and vehicles [not just for the insured party’s but for the third party’s, of course], but acquiring new policyholders is becoming increasingly expensive. In this instance, far from competition bearing down on premiums, excess competition is creating a bad but expensive market with commission payable to comparison websites, higher rates, poorer service, a deterioration in cover, and exorbitant charges for changing policy details.

John Roberts says:
3 June 2017

I have used the same broker for car and home insurances for over a decade. Following their renewal quote I compare these to quotes on two comparison websites. These, at the cheapest, are usually less than my broker’s first quotes. I bargain with them and, as a customer for several years, I can get a renewal quote that matches those on-line. However, costs rise and I have to check on what I am getting within each quote (breakdown cover, legal assistance etc.).

With buildings insurance, I think the insurance companies do try to get their hands on some of the increase in property values even if that isn’t matched by an equivalent rise in repair and reconstruction costs. That cannot apply to car insurance because they tend to depreciate in value so while the cost of a new replacement for a write-off would inevitably be higher than the cost of the original car, a like-for-like replacement should be somewhat less expensive for the insurer, but is that fully reflected in insurance premiums? I doubt we’ll ever know. I expect they are just indexed to the ever-rising price of new cars.

My insurer (Volvo Owners underwritten by Allianz) originally quoted about 5% less than last year’s price, though on renewal it seems they hadn’t noted the ‘fault’ claim I had during the year. (This was a small dent picked up in car park from offender unknown). Despite having NCB protection, this hiked up the premium by £150!! It is a nonsense to argue that I am an increased risk because some careless driver hit my car whilst I wasn’t in it in car park 320 miles from home, so how can this be justified? This looks like a tactic to attempt to recover the cost of the claim. I shopped around and got a like-for-like quote from Direct Line for £20 less than the original Volvo owners quote saving £170 (about 40%). The car insurance business makes no sense…

If you make a claim on your policy then you can expect the premium to rise. Some drivers park in the far corners of supermarket car parks to avoid their cars being damaged by careless drivers and trollies, and the risk of increases in insurance premiums. Obviously this is not an option in busy car parks.

Greenb says:
3 June 2017

I have recently received my car insurance renewal notice, I am 56 with a clean licence and a claim 100% recovered from 3rd part back in February 2016. The service I received during the claim was first class so no complaints there. The renewal this time last year had a small increase in premium, unrelated to the claim, however the small increase was not enough to cause me to move.

Twelve months on and the increase is 29%! I queried the increase which was promptly reduced by 42%! I decided to shop around anyway and managed find a renewal premium cheaper than the prior year renewal for a like for like policy.

Like wavechange, they lost my custom playing games.

SHOP AROUND!

yes both our car insurance premiums have gone up. I am surprised that M & S insurance came so high on your recent survey. Take heed when notifying them of a change to driver details. My wife’s insurance needed renewing and as a named driver on her policy I notified them of 3 points on my licence [the first for 15 years] they raised her quote by 25% and told me that I had to renew my policy there and then[even though it had 4 months to run] at an increase of 50% plus a cancellation fee of £50.
Needless to say I moved both car policies and a month later also moved our house policy to other insurers.

I am with Aviva and whilst checking the competition I also got a quote from Aviva as a new customer. Low and behold the new customer quote was nearly £90 less than the renewal quote. I challenged Aviva and they agreed to honour the lower quote. Have others had a similar experience?

I have the same experience every year with whoever I’m insured with. So I never allow Auto renewal and always check the comparison sites and some of those not on the comparison sites like Direct line and Aviva. If I get a better price with the same insurer, often LV, then I call them and haggle, they always give me the price quoted for new customer.

My renewal quote wirh LV seemed to be steep this year so i went on two different comparison websites and both came out with LV on top. Both were different prices to each other and both were a lot cheaper than my renewal quote. I called them to find our why this should be. They gave me a quote even cheaper than the comparison sites. Win, win!!

Just like many others I never take the first renewal figure given by any current insurer. I always check around using comparison sites, some direct contact. Then go back to my insurer to get them to beat the quote not just match it. So far worked about 95% of the time. One time it never worked was when the company deliberately overpriced and when challenge the just said take or leave it as they no longer wanted to cover big 4×4 cars. Which was surprising as I had been with them for 3 years with competitive pricing.
Rule is if they don’t want to fight for your business leave them for someone who does.

Nicholas Pye-Smith says:
15 June 2017

I’m pleased that insurers now show the previous year’s premium on renewal notices, although it’s a pity that it had to be enforced by law. Personally I keep last year’s renewal notice with my certificate and schedule, which is easy and seems the obvious thing to do, but the change must be helpful for those who are not so well organised. Incidentally, I keep several copies of the certificate and schedule in the car ready to give to another driver or witnesses or the police in the event of an accident. The schedule shows my name and address and I have written my phone number on it. It hasn’t happened yet but it would save having to write down insurance and contact details at the roadside in the rain.

I always check on at least two price comparison sites, I do this also for utilities. I’ve done this for more years than I can remember.
I often find I can get a cheaper quote, than that shown in the renewal, for the same cover from my current provider, even using my provider web site

I insured my car in 20016 with LV=. I received a renewal notice this year showing an increase that equated to 28%. I checked the online comparison site MoneySavingExpert.com and it showed the same price as quoted in LV=’s letter. I then checked the Confused.com website and it showed I could have the same cover with the same insurer at an increase of just 3% on last year’s premium so I got a quote for that! I rang LV= and they checked the price shown on the Confused.com and the quote reference I had before they agreed that I could renew my policy at that price.

Although it took a bit of time on the telephone, it was done amicably and the end result was satisfactory to me however the fact that LV= didn’t offer me the best deal when renewing was disappointing.

Ian says:
15 June 2017

My car insurance is due in July, and in preparation I sorted out some quotes. All were above what I paid last year. That was to be expected as my wife, in her own car, but as additional driver on mine, had a minor bump and that had to be declared. My basic renewal went from £300 to £620 and with the declared accident to £715. When I queried what on earth could justify these amounts I received a wishy washy reply of ” you did have an introductory 15% last year and insurers are increasing rates”. I suspect there is nolonger a calculation but simply a set of bingo balls with numbers! Moral: ignore your current insurers and go for new quotes every time. Annoying, but necessary.

my insurance went up from under £500.00 to over £1100.00, so I shopped around & got it for just over £500.00 with extra benefits on top. But 1 important lesson I learned was not to trust online applications, make your application over the phone for the very best quotes that are legal. I found I could have been uninsured due to some of the answers I had filled in on line. So phone every time & shop around !!!

My wife died in July 2016. When my renewal came later in the year my premium was much the same but I declared the death which resulted in an increase of £100. I then asked what effect adding my daughter would have and the result was a reduction of £100. No one could tell me why two drivers obviously reduces the risk.

My premium went up from £383 to £472 and I had no changes through year. Before I rung then I got a quote on line as though I was a new customer. This came to approx £406. When I rang them re renewal they just started telling me about costs going up including insurance tax. I quoted my new customer quote and yes-they matched it.
!