First Biba-Acturis price index shows flat commercial premiums

The average premiums paid by SMEs for package and commercial vehicle policies have increased by 11.5% since 2010, according to the first Biba-Acturis insurance price index.

The price index was launched today at the Houses of Parliament as the trade body set out the market issues it will be tackling in 2014 in its manifesto.

It will track the average price across the £4bn in premium placed using the Acturis system.

The index will track nine classes and be illustrating three insurance “shopping baskets”. They are SME (package and commercial vehicle), consumer (home and motor) and large commercial (combined liability and fleet) space.

“This is an exciting milestone, as it will allow us to regularly track the cost of insurance and will provide a wider insight into the economic health of the country, the cost of living, and our sector’s role in that,” chief executive Steve White said.

The index shows the consumer shopping basket had a 2% reduction in average premiums compared with 2012. Overall, the average premium is 7% higher than 2010, but it started to reduce in 2013 following peaks in 2011 and 2012.

The trade body says these changes reflect increases in motor premiums during recent years, but show that industry initiatives are having a positive impact on premiums.

One of these initiatives has been the industry’s drive to reduce uninsured driving, which has been supported by police seizures and other enforcement measures to bring about a near 50% reduction since 2005.

In the large commercial basket, the pricing guide shows that average premiums have increased by just 1% since 2010.

Biba said the rise in SME premiums was driven by commercial vehicle insurance, which has risen by 19% since 2010.

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