2006 UK car insurance industry watch covers the most important news stories, trends, research, opinion and developments for 2006.

If you are actively searching for a new cheap UK car insurance quote, and looking to SAVE money on your next policy then click through to the HomeApproved home page and you will find the relevant get a quote buttons at the top of the page.

Privilege 4 Years No Claims Car Insurance Offer
With Privilege Car Insurance, you only need 4 years No Claim Discount to get high class car insurance for a lower price*. The last thing you need after being involved in an accident is extra stress, so to help give Privilege customers peace of mind, this insurer guarantees any parts and repairs undertaken by one of our approved repairers – for five years.

*Offer available for renewal quotes for customers with at least 4 years no claim discount on their car insurance, on a like for like basis until 30/06/06. Your Privilege policy will run for twelve months or as shown on your Certificate of Motor Insurance.


Admiral MultiCar Insurance
If you have two cars in your household that you wish to insure the standard answer is two policies. But Admiral car insurance have recognised a gap in the major insurers’ marketplace, where individual households have several cars and possibly many drivers and have come up with their new MultiCar policy.

Admiral MultiCar Insurance Offer
MultiCar offers discounts against their standard rates for multiple cars and is an attempt to gather complete households under one car insurance policy where each vehicle has a separate schedule of drivers and the main driver for each vehicle retains their own individual no claims discount. Easy payment monthly instalments available. If you have two or more private cars (not company or commercial) in your house then MultiCar could save you money.

Only individuals listed under section 5 of your current Certificate of Motor Insurance may drive your car. New drivers can be added to your policy for either a few days or for the rest of your policy term, providing the drivers are eligible for insurance with Admiral MultiCar. There is a charge for adding drivers to your policy, for which you will be advised at the time of your application.


Tesco Car Insurance Gift Card Offer
Limited car insurance offer from Tesco Finance. Get a quote and buy your policy between 15th February and 30th April 2006 to qualify. You must enter your Clubcard number in the correct field on the online application.

This offer has now Finished.

Switch your motor policy to Tesco today! Exclusive for Clubcard customers! £20 FREE Tesco Gift card. Tesco will send your Gift card no later than 6 weeks after your policy acceptance date, so long as the policy has not been cancelled. All Gift Cards will be issued to the policyholder at the policyholder’s address. Buy online for instant cover and get a 10% discount in your first year.

Before completing your application please make sure you have read and printed or saved the Policy Summary and Policy Document, these outline the terms and conditions of your insurance cover. The offer is only available to you when you purchase your policy this year (not applicable on renewal). Offer applies to new customers only.


Car Insurance Set for Big Increases
Motorists face big cost increases next year (2007) as the UK’s biggest car insurer looks set to push through double-digit percentage rises in premiums.

Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) Insurance, which owns brands such as Direct Line, Churchill and Privilege, has admitted it is starting to increase premiums, just months after Norwich Union raised rates by up to 40 per cent. The major players hope cheaper competitors will follow suit.

RBS insurance said it’s premiums across all key brands have already increased by 5 per cent since September. If the rises were maintained, that would translate into a 20 per cent increase in 2007. On an average Comprehensive Car Insurance premium of £762, that would mean a £152 increase.

RBS insurance, the second biggest general insurer by market share, said it was compelled to increase its premiums because for the past four years the cost of claims had outstripped revenue from premiums.

A spokesperson for AA insurance, said the increases were good for the industry. ‘The market is going to be even more polarised now, between the most expensive providers and the cheapest’.


Endsleigh Insurance Publish Figures
Figures published by Endsleigh Car Insurance, the leading insurance provider for career people and students, show that claims for car theft across the UK have fallen by 31% over the past three years.

The figures we revealed recently within Endsleigh’s ‘Motor Cities 2006’ report. The document identifies the UK’s top ten safest and riskiest towns and cities for motorists. The results were collected by analysing theft claims across the UK over the last 3 years from the hundreds of thousands of people that Endsleigh insures. The reports confirms and supports previous studies that car crime figures in the UK as a whole, are falling.

Endsleigh compared the frequency of claims in different UK towns and cities to the Endsleigh national average. This means that the report shows the risk of an actual incident occurring rather than just the total number of incidents that have occurred. The top three towns and cities for car theft are as follows:
•Riskiest for car theft – Hull, Bradford, Leeds
•Safest for car theft – Norwich, Solihull, Swindon

Further reading on this subject can be found at the Endsleigh Insurance web site.


Low Cost Tailor-Made Car Insurance from the The Post Office™

The Post Office™ offer to find the best policy to suit your needs at the lowest possible price from their panel of leading insurers. Apply online NOW!

If you take out a Car insurance policy from the Post Office™ before 31st May 2006, they guaranteed to give you £50 cash back!*
• Cheaper for 63% of customers**
• Save up to £124**
• Choice of cover
• Optional breakdown cover
• Easy monthly payments option (subject to status)
• Fast, friendly, expert claims service
• Easy to apply, easy to claim
• Immediate cover available

* Terms and conditions of £50 cash back offer
1. A £50 Postal Order will be sent within 28 days of the start of your policy.
2. Offer applies to new customers only.
3. This offer may be withdrawn without notice at any time.
4. Post Office Ltd reserves the right to reclaim the £50 cash back if you cancel your policy within 12 months of the policy start date.

**Save up to £124 with Post Office™ car insurance. This is based on an independent survey of over 1500 quotes carried out by Direct Excellence in November 2005. The survey also shows that 63.89% of customers would make a saving with the Post Office™.


Motor Insurer of the Year 2006
The Insurancetimes award for Motor Insurer of the Year, (Voted by UK brokers and sponsored by RAC TrafficMaster) has been won for the fifth time by Fortis Insurance.

The Fortis commitment to provide service excellence and offer a quality product is key to the company’s continued success in a fiercely competitive market. The strength of the strategic partnerships built-up by Fortis with UK intermediaries are fundamental to their success. Adopting a sharing approach with open communication has enabled the company to keep customers at the centre of all short and long term planning.

As part of the process to continuously improve the Fortis Motor Guard offering, there have been a number of underwriting improvements during 2006 and Fortis now cover a wider range of risks than ever before. The company continues to write profitable motor insurance business, even during the softest markets where price and customer expectations have been put under pressure.

Fortis has built upon it’s impressive track record of outperforming the market in previous years. Quarter 3, 2006 results showed a 7% increase in the number of private cars covered, with the company now insuring in excess of 1.5 million cars. Fortis operates a low unit cost of production approach to business efficiency which has helped the company stay profitable and customer focused.

A key Fortis belief is that their core service proposition is not outsourced and their UK based in-house servicing teams deliver flexibility and speed of response. This is combined with market leading expense control to meet constantly rising customer expectations.

Source: Insurancetimes.


Adverse Weather Warning
UK motorists need to be aware of the most recent severe weather warnings from the Met Office and other news media. If you want to maintain your No Claims Bonus and get through this winter unscathed and accident free then take note.

The New Year will begin with raging storms and ferocious gales, weather experts have predicted. Freezing temperatures are set to continue as 2006 draws to a close. But on January 1, 2007, the heavens will open and the UK will be deluged and battered by howling winds.

The Met Office says Christmas will see crisp, dry weather. Forecaster Jonathan Powell, of Positive Weather Solutions, said: “Then the storms will arrive. “They will deliver widespread disruption with gales having the potential to cause structural damage. “We will see particularly violent winds.” He predicted flooding in some areas, although temperatures will be unusually mild, around 12-14C.

13 December 2006
Drivers have been warned of severe weather in the north-west and northern England. The Highways Agency reports that gusting winds in excess of 60mph are expected to make driving conditions difficult in parts of northern England today. Heavy rain is also expected to take its toll, affecting certain areas of north-west England with gusting winds of between 50 and 60mph.

The north-west will also see the strongest winds in the country, possibly exceeding 60mph during the evening and afternoon. This could affect rush hour driving conditions and possibly influence roads further south, says the Agency.

Drivers are hence advised to be extra cautious on the roads, with the severe weather likely to affect northern areas all day and extending into the evening. Roads on higher ground are likely to be worst-affected.

Motorists are also advised to use their headlights, keep well back from vehicles in front and more than double stopping distances due to reduced visibility caused by rain and spray.

The Agency has furthermore called on drivers to ease off the accelerator when slowing down and to do this gradually, since wet roads can reduce tyre grip and make steering unresponsive.

Motorists keen to check up on up-to-date information on road conditions can do so on at the Highways Agency web site or alternatively call 08457 504030.


Rising Premiums?
At least one major car insurer has intimated to the market that its motor premiums are set to rise over the next 12 months by up to 16%. Claiming an increase in the number and value of claims made as the sole reason from the hike in premiums seems to be (on the surface) slightly dubious.

It is also the case that some motor insurance brands such as Admiral and Confused.com are reporting stronger growth, both in the number of policy holders and company profits. So how come such diametrically opposed circumstances? You would think that if claims are rising it would affect all the insurers?

This is the case but only to a certain extent. The best performing companies have divided the market into niche segments, offering a brand purely focused on one particular driver/vehicle group. An example of this would be Diamond car insurance for women. Allied to innovative marketing tactics and promotions such as Admiral MultiCar insurance, which could save drivers up to 23% on the premiums.

Yes there is definitely a rise in the number of motor insurance claims, both genuine and false. However the question needs to be raised of whether the Major insurers – by trying to cover all bases at once under one brand, are finding it increasingly hard to compete with the smaller more nimbler players?