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Driving on - motor insurers pay out a record £23m a day to motorists

Driving on - motor insurers pay out a record £23m a day to motorists

Motor insurance pay-outs so far in 2018 have reached a record level with more than £23 million being paid every day and vehicle theft claims up by a third, with repair costs also rising, according to figures from the Association of British Insurers (ABI).

The pay-outs cover theft, own vehicle and third-party property damage, as well as personal injury compensation. Rising repair bills and theft claims were the main driving forces behind the rise, according to the ABI’s latest motor claims data collected from its members.

The data highlighted that, in the first nine months of the year:
  • Motor insurers paid out a total of £6.4 billion to private motorists and in compensation to victims of motor crashes, equating to more than £23 million every day. That is up 4% on the same period last year, to the highest level since the ABI started collecting the data at the start of 2013.
  • The cost of theft claims, at £271 million, jumped by 32% on the same period last year. The number of claims settled, at 41,000, rose by 11% on last year. The rise, said the ABI, in part reflected the widely reported growth in keyless vehicle crime. Thieves are overcoming digital fobs used to unlock car doors and start engines instead of keys by launching so-called ‘relay attacks’, in which hand-held devices are used to amplify the signal being given off by a digital fob from within a victim’s location to fool a vehicle parked nearby to open.
  • Repair bills, which at £3 billion so far this year, had risen by 5% on the same period last year. The average repair bill this year currently stands at £2,137. Ever more sophisticated vehicle technology, such as more sensors in bumpers and windscreens, was leading to the rise in repair costs, said the ABI.

Huw Evans, the ABI’s director general, said: “Motor insurers are delivering when it matters, keeping Britain’s motorists on the road when things go wrong, and compensating those who suffer injury in road crashes.

“Despite rising claim costs, all drivers will appreciate the fact that the average price paid for motor insurance has been falling this year. This in part reflects the continued competitive market, and that some insurers may be reacting to the progress of the Civil Liability Bill that is proceeding through Parliament that will bring much-needed reforms to the personal injury compensation system.”