The motor insurance market is an over-crowded highway. Brokers are continuing to face a torrid time, with aggregators and direct players reducing further the dwindling share brokers have in motor.
In response brokers are seeking to reduce their cut of commission, pay an aggregator or more likely, get out of motor altogether.
For insurers the biggest driver is fierce competition, which has consistently squeezed out much of the profit from motor insurance in recent years. So much so that, finally, insurers are trying to get back on the road by putting rates up. Norwich Union, Highway and Fortis have all increased rates, with the expectation of further rises to come in 2008.
Although the highway includes a crossroads in data, confusing further where the market will head.
Research from Sainsbury’s Bank shows motor premiums have risen 4.2% over the past 12 months reinforcing data from the Deloitte motor insurance index, which showed a rise of 10% over 12 months.
Yet Insurancewide.com released figures which suggest that third quarter numbers showed a 9.5% drop in car insurance premiums since the second quarter.
Whatever the issue, insurers and brokers remain under considerable competitive pressure to retain and attract customers.
To confuse the picture further, the June floods have, despite expectations to the contrary, had little effect on motor premiums in the direct market during the third quarter.
The true impact of the floods is likely to manifest itself in premiums over the next few months when claims have been settled and insurers have been able to assess the real impact.
The present motor market cannot maintain so many occupants on the highway, some will have to get off.
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