Northern Ireland auto insurance prices fall but still above United Kingdom average

Car insurance

Car insurance

Vehicle insurance prices in the United Kingdom have recorded their first year-on-year fall since 2014, following reforms to whiplash payouts and a review of compensation paid to victims of motor accidents.

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. It said prices peaked in the last quarter of 2017 but have since fallen 7%.

Motorists in Northern Ireland are spending nearly £950 on average for their vehicle insurance, it has emerged.

Insurers are forbidden by law to set different vehicle insurance premiums exclusively based on gender. But Confused.com says insurers are not passing on the savings.

Changes to government policy on the so-called discount rate had led insurers to "soften" their prices, the price comparison website said. "The government has also announced a reform to the way whiplash claims are calculated and paid, which may have also had an impact", it said.

"Being loyal doesn't always pay, so to get the message across to cost-burdened drivers, Confused.com is guaranteeing to beat the price insurers are charging at point of renewal".

The Ogden rate is a formula used to calculate compensation for accidents, and a new rate proposed by the government past year sparked outrage among insurers and threats of huge premium increases. In September previous year, the government backtracked after the insurers said the new formula would overcompensate crash victims. The government claimed that drivers would save as much as £35 per year on the cost of their policies.

In Scotland, premiums are also still increasing, with motorists in the Scottish Borders area suffering the largest increase (6%) since a year ago.

Drivers who shopped around have seen their insurance costs fall by 2% - equivalent to £13.

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