Northern Ireland car insurance costs leap by £163

The cost of car insurance in Northern Ireland surged by £163 in the last year.

Premiums here cost £1,054 on average, with prices expected to hit their highest level yet in 2018.

Our bills are 25% above the UK average, the latest quarterly analysis by price comparison website Confused.com shows.

Its car insurance price index, for the third quarter of 2017, reveals prices here rose by 18% in 12 months.

While there was a slight drop in the last quarter, the average £1,054 Northern Ireland bill is just £5 less than the peak period, recorded earlier this year.

The average UK-wide premium of £838 is still £100 more expensive than a year ago – having risen by 65% over the past decade.

Some drivers have been hit in the pocket more than others.

While female drivers have seen their car insurance bump up by £91 (13%) to £774 since last year, men appear to have borne the brunt of the price hike, following a £109 (14%) increase to £890 for their average premium.

Analysis shows a marked difference between different age groups too.

Many older motorists in the UK – specifically those aged between 57 and 61, and between 66 and 69 – are paying more than ever before.

It is not only rising car insurance prices that UK motorists have to contend with.

Coupled with other price hikes such as new rules around vehicle tax for new cars, drivers are also paying significantly more for fuel than they were a year ago.

According to Confused.com’s fuel price index, which collates prices from 83% of the UK’s fuel stations, drivers are now paying 119.1p for petrol and 120.5p for diesel, on average.

Amanda Stretton, motoring editor at Confused.com, said a cut in the Ogden rate – the rate which calculates deductions from compensation payments to injured people – had led to hikes in insurance premiums.

“With car insurance costs in Northern Ireland rising by 18% over the last year, it’s no wonder drivers are dreading their next renewal date,” she said.

“The dramatic Ogden rate cut from 2.5% to -0.75% in February 2017 sparked a surge of car insurance price hikes across the UK, in an already inflating market, as insurers braced themselves to pay out more for personal injury claims.

“A recent (September 2017) government announcement to change the way rates are set could partly reverse the cut by up to 1%, meaning insurers have seemingly been able to calm their pricing slightly this quarter.

“Even so, we expect this will be short lived given that prices have already started to rise again in September.”

Ms Stretton said motorists should brace themselves for a further rise, adding: “Worryingly, there is every possibility that car insurance prices will be the most expensive on record during the first half of next year.”

She said consumers can save up to £289 by shopping around online.

Belfast Telegraph

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