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Insurance is on the rise, again!

It used to be that every year, your car insurance premium would come down. But now, drivers are finding that their quotes are increasing. At first, most motorists expected it as every other part of driving a car has gone up. But the increase in driver premiums is for a very different reason.

Compensation Britain

When we settle down to watch some evening telly, most programmes are interrupted with TV commercials. Accident claims adverts are becoming more frequent, it’s as though they are brain washing us into claiming. The advertisements are clever as they put ideas, thoughts and even symptoms into our heads;

“Did you have an accident and suffering from neck ache? That is whiplash and you’re entitled to money”

They often motivate us by saying that “No win, no fee”, so there is very little risk on us.

The claim is accepted by a management company, which passes your details onto a solicitor. There is normally a fee of £600 for this transaction. The solicitor then contacts you to discuss the fine details and a claim will be put forward to the insurance company. Usually, the insurance company doesn’t challenge or appear in court so the settlement is normally for the claimants figure, which in turn increases our insurance premiums!

It’s a completely transparent system where everyone can see where the money is changing hands. For the sake of motorists, it needs to stop.

Gender Equality

It’s not all bad news, though. At the start of 2011, a European Court has rules that car insurance companies are no longer aloud to take gender into consideration when calculating premiums. It now means that there will be “one rule for all”. However, this change in law will now mean that female drivers can expect to see an increase of approximately 25% in their car insurance quotes. Whereas male drives will see a decrease of around 10%.

As it now may see fairer based on gender, when looking at statistics – it is not!

Boy racer culture

Car insurance companies deal in an industry that is focused on risk, which they then have to calculate into premiums for us. Companies use the latest and most up-to-date statistics to calculate prices. The information used shows young males are more likely to claim due to several reasons; drink-driving, speeding and carelessness. For the past decade, this is how the insurance companies have justified the higher charges.

In 2009, Department of Transport figures show that 27,000 accidents in the UK were caused by male drivers under the age of 24. This is 10,000 more than woman of the same age.

The “Boy Racer” culture in the UK has grown and strengthened over the years. Sterotypically, to quality as a boy racer one must; have tinted windows, dodgy paintwork and car stickers, an unhealthy sounding exhaust, barely any suspension and disco coloured lights. The reputation of boy racers is getting worse and it seems to be a band wagon that anybody is prepared to jump on!

Ban all discrimination

There have been a lot of commentators on this matter, and some call for a ban in all forms of discrimination. I refer back to the statistics insurance companies use to calculate premiums, and the other factor that they take into consideration is age.

National statistics show that drivers under the age of 24, irrespective of gender, are more likely to cause an accident. Let’s take a look at the bigger picture and put this statistic into context…

Drivers under the age of 24 are more likely to be out on the road at all hours of the day. Whereas more mature drivers are less likely to use their car and spend less time behind the wheel.

There has not been a study into the amount of accidents mature drivers cause in relation to the time they spend on the road. Consequently, common reasons why mature drives cause accidents are; no use of indicators and not aware of highway code procedures.

…so age might not actually be a true indicator as to why under 24 year olds are involved in more accidents. Perhaps it’s because they spend more time on the road. We suggest that age should also be taken out of the equation and place more emphasis on the usage and mileage of the driver.

What are your thoughts on this?