Whiplash reform delay costs British drivers £1.3bn in increased premiums

... or so say Compare the Market in what may be another attempt to engage the mainstream media and deflect from recent windfall motor insurance profits.

Apparently, plans to help prevent people making fraudulent or exaggerated personal injury claims because of whiplash were put on the back burner for the second time and delayed until next year because of coronavirus.

Compare the Market say that the legislation would have taken around £35 off average premiums, but the delay has meant that premiums remain higher than they should be.

They say that for young drivers, this effect on wallets is compounded by multiple hikes to the Insurance Premium Tax (IPT) rate. The average motor insurance premium is estimated to be around £75 more expensive because of the tax. But for young people aged 17-24 this increases significantly to £126. This group already pay the highest because they are considered riskier drivers to insure.

Ironically, and entirely unrelated to the apparent desire to see reduced premiums, Admiral Group PLC declared a deferred special dividend from 2019 on 12th August 2020, as it reported a market-beating 31% rise in first-half pretax profit.

The U.K.-listed car insurance company--which houses its namesake Admiral brand and price comparison site Confused.com--said it will pay the special dividend of 20.7 pence a share which was declared at the time of its 2019 earnings but suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The company has also declared a dividend of 70.5 pence a share for the first half of 2020, which includes a special dividend of 15.50 pence.

Admiral made a pretax profit for the half year ended June 30 of 286.1 million pounds ($373.3 million), up £155.1m when compared with GBP218.2 million for the same period in 2019 and a forecast of GBP245.4 million based on two analysts' estimates.

The Confused.com price index does suggest premiums fell in the last quarter but that fall appears to be a minor blip relative to the increase in premiums recorded since Q3 2019 (see below):

Q2 2020 premiums may well have fallen because of the lower use of vehicles by policyholders - we'll probably never really know!

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