Confused.com and EMB Launch New Car Insurance Price Index

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Price comparison sites more useful than ever as new price index finds car insurance costs to be rising.

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Northern Ireland is a slightly special case, but overall the regional trends are entirely due to the cost of claims. You can't overlook the fact that Scotland has a different legal system to England and Wales where the practice of solicitors paying for personal injury claim referrals is not allowed.

A new, quarterly car insurance price index, released by Confused.com and EMB, shows that car drivers have more incentive than ever to shop around for their insurance.

The average cost of the cheapest quote rose by 12.7% in 2009 with most of the increases coming in the second half of the year. Prices rose by 6.3% in the fourth quarter alone. As a result, the cost of the average policy has risen from £450 at the end of 2008 to £507 at the end of 2009.

The new index is based on an analysis of over 12 million customer car insurance quotes and almost a billion prices from Confused.com since the end of 2006. The figures show that while prices stayed relatively flat or decreased throughout 2007 and 2008, prices have been steadily increasing throughout 2009.

Simon Lamble, Product Director at Confused.com commented: "The fact that these figures are based on a very high sample of real quotes and over 50% of people now buy car insurance after visiting a comparison site means that the index gives an unprecedented insight on what is really happening to prices. It can drill down reliably, looking at what is happening to prices, depending on gender, age and geography or a combination of these factors"

Lamble added: "Whilst it is undisputable that car insurance prices are on the rise, this research shows that it's more important than ever to shop around on a comparison site before renewing car insurance. Further rises are inevitable but it's possible to minimise how much these rises affect people personally."

There are some surprising winners and losers in the 2009 price rises. Women have generally come off worse with 21-30 year old females seeing annual increases approaching 17% compared to around 13% for men of the same age. In monetary terms, premiums still lag behind young men, but they are catching up.

Parents adding their children to their policy also continue to have a tough time. It particularly affects forty-something women whose average premium for such cover is now nearly four times the cost of having an individual policy.

Regionally, Scotland and Northern Ireland have consistently experienced the lowest rises to premiums over the last three years. The West Midlands saw the biggest average annual rise in 2009 of 17.9%, although the three postcode areas with the largest increases are all in the North and North West - Bradford, Oldham and Bolton.

EMB Partner, Karl Murphy, said: "Northern Ireland is a slightly special case, but overall the regional trends are entirely due to the cost of claims. You can't overlook the fact that Scotland has a different legal system to England and Wales where the practice of solicitors paying for personal injury claim referrals is not allowed."

The motivation for consumers to shop around and compare car insurance quotes to secure a good deal is unlikely to diminish in 2010, says Murphy: "Last year the average car insurer paid out £1.20 for every £1 of premium they received. Insurance providers have been badly impacted by rising numbers of injury claims, and with no signs of a reversal in this trend and negligible investment income available to them, further price rises can be expected," he said.

In 2009, 25% of UK buyers in search of cheap car insurance used Confused.com.

For further information please contact:

Press Office                
Confused.com                                    
02920 434 398

Graham Whitehead    
EMB                                        
01372 751060 / 07827 953969
http://www.emb.com

Notes to editors

About Confused.com:
Confused.com is one of the UK's biggest and most popular price comparison services. Launched in 2002, it generates over two million quotes per month. It has expanded its range of comparison products over the last couple of years to include home insurance, travel insurance, pet insurance, van insurance, motorbike insurance, breakdown cover and energy, as well as financial services products including credit cards, loans, mortgages and life insurance.
Confused.com has a panel of 90 motor insurance providers and could save customers over £154* on their annual car insurance policy.

Confused.com is not a supplier, insurance company or broker. It provides a free, objective and unbiased comparison service. By using cutting-edge technology, it has developed a series of intelligent web-based solutions that evaluate a number of risk factors to help customers with their decision-making, subsequently finding them great deals on a wide-range of insurance products, financial services, utilities and more. Confused.com's service is based on the most up-to-date information provided by UK suppliers and industry regulators.

Confused.com is owned by the Admiral Group plc. Admiral listed on the London Stock Exchange in September 2004. Confused.com is regulated by the FSA.

  • 17% of customers who received a car insurance quote in 2009 and provided a best alternative price saved over £154.25

About EMB:
Established in 1993, EMB (http://www.emb.com) is a rapidly growing international consultancy firm specialising in non-life insurance. Covering personal lines, commercial insurance and the London Market, its services include Business Consultancy, Actuarial Consultancy, Investment Consultancy, Professional Development, Marketing Sciences, Fraud Prevention and Software. EMB pioneered the development and use of high performance actuarial software using modern desktop PCs. The range is unrivalled, making it feasible to perform tasks that would otherwise be impossible, impractical or hugely time-consuming. Headquartered in the UK, EMB employs more than 300 people around the globe covering Americas, Asia-Pacific and Europe, Middle East & Africa with clients that include 28 of the top 30 non-life companies in the world.

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