The Association of British Insurers (ABI) has taken a swipe at the media for the supposedly “alarmist” and “misleading” reports on the rising cost of car insurance.
James Dalton, ABI’s general insurance policy director, made the remarks as he commented on an ITV documentary last week which looked at the reasons why average motor insurance premiums are increasing.
“In contrast to some recent alarmist headlines and misleading reporting, ITV Tonight provided a clear picture of what is driving up the cost of motor insurance premiums,” claimed Dalton, who was interviewed by ITV in the documentary.
“From staged accidents to inflated credit hire charges, claims management firms bombarding people with nuisance calls and texts to rising repair bills, insurers are facing increased costs across the board,” he added.
Dalton claimed that “providing the best deal for honest customers remains the priority for insurers” and that the industry is “doing all it can” to reduce unnecessary costs.
The ITV documentary showed that motor insurance premiums have been increasing due to new technology in cars, fraudulent claims and insurance scams devised by criminal gangs, among other factors.
The documentary was presented a few days after The Times
ran a banner story accusing insurance companies of cheating motorists.
The report said insurers are overcharging motorists for cover despite measures that have helped the industry to save almost £520 million in the past three years.
cited ABI data which showed that the number of motor-related personal injury claims from 2013 to both 2014 and last year decreased by 23,000. The average cost of the claims also fell by more than £600 during the period.
“It suggests that the overall cost to the insurance industry of these claims has dropped from more than £4.1 billion in 2013 to £3.6 billion last year. Motor insurance prices, however, have actually risen over the past 12 months,” the newspaper reported.
Denying profiteering, the ABI told the The Times
that the recent price hikes represented the industry’s efforts to regain losses from an earlier decline in insurance premiums.
ABI general insurance manager Rob Cummings claimed that around £1.1 billion in savings had been passed on to customers.
“Those initial savings that were passed on were overpriced and the market is now trying to rectify itself,” The Times
quoted him as saying.
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