A dramatic shift in vehicle use has led to a decline in claims this year

Motor insurers will save £4.4bn in claims payouts this year as vehicle use declined sharply due to the Covid lockdown.

Journeys were down by almost 50% this year as drivers were forced to stay home, research carried out by price comparison website Hello Safe revealed.

Car accidents declined by 41.2% so far this year, it added, citing data from 18 European insurers and 500,000 policyholders.

London saw the most dramatic cost in claims payouts, declining by £696m (58.9%), followed by Birmingham, which saw a £90m drop.

Deaths from accidents were also down by a quarter, while vehicles sent to UK garages by insurers dropped by 53%, according to Hello Safe’s data.

Commenting on the PCW’s findings, Hello Safe chief executive Antoine Fruchard said: “After the first national lockdown was eased, we thought that life would go back to normal.

”However, with that second pandemic wave that is shaking the UK, road traffic has gone down again, and again the insurance companies save money on claims.

”With fast-deteriorating economic conditions, Brits are likely to question their 2021 premiums.

”A discount may be expected by them, to compensation a 2020 year during which it has often been impossible to get our with the car.

”Car insurance companies will probably have to make an effort, which could take the shape of a one-shot refund or of a premium discount. In this very uncertain future, the insurance industry will be watched”.