Many UK motorists are waiting too long for payment for approved insurance claims, according to research from automated clearing house BACS.

The average time for claims to be settled is between two and three months, compared with an average of six weeks for contents insurance claims. And 12% of those surveyed had waited more than six months to receive payment.

Peter Blake from BACS said: "Our research indicates there are potentially half a million motorists waiting more than six months for claims, totalling around £780m to be settled. With such large sums of money involved, it's important that approved claims reach customers quickly and conveniently."

BACS is calling for more pay-ments to be made directly into customers' accounts. Currently, only 7% of motor claims are paid this way.