The latest Confused.com/Towers Watson Car Insurance Price Index has revealed that, after several years of soaring price increases, car insurance prices have fallen. However, car insurance prices are still 61% higher than they were at the end of 2006.
Car insurance prices for women have fallen 3% year-on-year but in some UK regions women are experiencing hikes as high as 9.7%, showing a murky picture across the UK.
For men, the price of comprehensive car insurance has dropped by 1.8% year on year bringing an average policy to £869 at the end of March 2012.This compares with women who were paying £751 in the same period.
However, the Confused.com/Towers Watson Car Insurance Price index also shows that some women have seen more significant rises than men in the 12 month period. These changes are taking place in Leeds and Sheffield, Inner London, Manchester & Merseyside as well as the West Midlands and mostly amongst the 21-30 age group.
In the Leeds/Sheffield area, the Confused.com/Towers Watson car insurance price index shows that the cost of a comprehensive policy for women aged 21-25 increased by 3.4% YoY in Q1 2012, totalling £1,437. This compares with a 2% rise for men of the same age and postcode who in Q1 2012 paid £2,199 for a comprehensive policy.
Women aged 21-25 living in Inner London also took a hit in premiums, experiencing car insurance price rises of 3.9% YoY in Q1 2012, whereas 21-25 year old males living in the same postcode saw a lesser 3.4 per cent hike.
In the Manchester/ Merseyside region, women aged 21-25 were grappling with price hikes of 4.7% as the price of a comprehensive policy rose to £1,820. By contrast, their male counterparts saw a 3.6% rise.
Interestingly, and also in the Manchester/ Merseyside area, those women aged 66-70 were hit with a huge 9.7% rise in their insurance premium, compared with a 5.7% rise for men.
Despite being hit with regional hikes, women are still paying less than men for car insurance because the cost of claims is less for women compared to that of men. The Confused.com/Towers Watson car insurance price index shows that for the first quarter of 2012, female drivers aged 17-20 were paying £1,766 LESS than men of the same age. The average cost of a fully comprehensive car insurance policy in the first quarter of 2012 for a female aged 17-20 is £1,869 compared with males of the same age who pay £3,635.
As well as some women in some regions feeling the effects of car insurance price rises, increases above the rate of inflation (3.4%)* were seen in Oldham, Uxbridge, Bradford and East London. With a price increase of 7.1%, Oldham replaces Bradford as the postcode with the fastest rising prices over the last 12 months.
Gareth Kloet, Head of Car Insurance at Confused.com said: “Overall we’ve seen insurance prices come down marginally but, some women are seeing significant increases in their premium. The European Union gender equality law bans the use of gender as a factor in calculating the cost of an insurance policy and comes into effect on 21 December 2012. As a result, we expect women everywhere to see hikes to their car insurance costs.”