AA index shows third successive fall in comprehensive insurance

Motor rates have fallen by 3% so far this year, accord-ing to the latest AA British Insurance Premium Index.

Third quarter figures released this week show comprehensive insurance premiums down 0.8% on the previous quarter, the third successive fall. Third party rates showed a slight rise in the quarter.

AA director of insurance Neale Phillips said: "Insurers appear to be refining the way they calculate premiums. This is leading to the reductions in premiums we are now seeing, despite rising claims costs.

"Customers are well informed and spend more time shopping around on the internet.

"The winners are insurers who offer discounted premiums for online customers and are taking a growing slice of the market."

Phillips put the slight rise in third party rates, just over 0.2%, down to the increasing cost of meeting third party claims.

In the home market the AA recorded a reversal of the slight gains made last year on the back of fears of a subsidence event year. The average premium for buildings insurance dropped 11p to £208.21.

Phillips said: "Weather- related claims, other than flood, are increasing, but they tend to be small. On the other hand there have been relatively few catastrophic flood claims, the recent Boscastle disaster excepted.

"Nevertheless, climate change predictions continue to be of concern to the industry."

Contents insurance also saw a fall of around 1% in the quarter, driven down by a benign claims environment as burglaries continued to fall.