April 16, 2018 / 12:03 AM / 8 days ago

UK car insurance premiums see biggest quarterly fall in four years-survey

April 16 (Reuters) - The cost of a comprehensive motor insurance policy fell 7 percent in Britain in the first quarter, the largest quarterly reduction in premiums seen in four years, a survey said on Monday.

The average premium for a comprehensive policy is now 768 pounds ($1,096.40), according to the latest index from price comparison site Confused.com, compiled by insurance advisory company Willis Towers Watson.

The index, which is based on price data compiled from almost six million customer quotes per quarter, found that the average premium in the first quarter this year versus the first quarter in 2017 was 2 percent lower, marking the first annual drop in prices since 2015.

Britain plans new laws to cut the number of whiplash claims from car accidents and change the calculation of personal injury payments, a move which should lower costs for insurers and motor premiums for drivers. It is also changing the rate used to calculate how much insurers should pay for personal injuries.

“There are a number of hurdles that will need to be cleared before a new discount rate comes into effect ... the possibility of further increases in Insurance Premium Tax, continued uncertainty caused by the Brexit negotiations and ongoing pressures on repair costs,” Stephen Jones, lead, UK P&C pricing practice at Willis Towers Watson, said.

Companies such as Admiral, Direct Line and esure and Hastings provide motor insurance in Britain’s insurance sector.

$1 = 0.7005 pounds Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain in Bengaluru. Editing by Jane Merriman

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