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One year on, personal injury compensation reforms can no longer be parked warns the ABI

  • Cost pressures on drivers mount: annual lifetime motor insurance costs now estimated to top £31,000, with average price of annual cover at a record high.

Britain’s motorists are paying a heavy price for delays in the Government implementing its proposals to reform how personal injury compensation is calculated (the Discount Rate) the Association of British Insurers (ABI) warns today.

With the price paid for the average comprehensive motor insurance policy having jumped by 9% in 2017 to a record high of £4811., reforms cannot come soon enough for millions of insurance customers, especially as:

  • The ABI estimates that a UK motorist can now expect to pay on average a total of £31,650 2. on motor insurance during their driving lifetime. This is up 5% on 2014. It equates to more than the price of the average new car, or the average UK salary..
  • The average motor insurance claim is now £3,106, the highest on record.
  • The current Rate will have cost the already cash-strapped NHS a further £1 billion in the last year. 

The Discount Rate is an adjustment applied to lump sum compensation payments made to people who have suffered serious personal injuries to reflect the likely return on the money when they invest it. It aims to ensure that people are not under or over-compensated.

On 27 February 2017, the then Lord Chancellor reduced the Discount Rate used to calculate compensation for serious personal injuries from 2.5% to minus 0.75% - the lowest rate in the western world - and said that there would be a review of how the Rate should be set in the future.

Following a consultation, in September last year the Government announced proposals to deliver a personal injury compensation system that would be fairer for claimants, customers and taxpayers alike. These would see the framework for setting the Discount Rate better reflect how claimants actually invested their compensation. The Rate would be reviewed at least every three years, with the creation of an independent panel of experts to help advise the Lord Chancellor on future reviews.

James Dalton, Director of General Insurance Policy at the ABI, said:

“It is time to end the uncertainty. One year on from the Government launching a review into what is widely accepted to be a broken system, motorists, claimants and insurers all need to know where they stand. The Government must urgently bring forward relief for motorists by introducing a framework for reform to create a fairer compensation system for claimants, insurance customers and all taxpayers.”




Notes for Editors

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1. 1.ABI Motor Premium Tracker of the average price paid for private comprehensive motor insurance.

2. Based on ABI data on average motor premiums by age bands from ages 17 to 90+

3. The Association of British Insurers is the voice of the UK’s world leading insurance and long-term savings industry.

A productive, inclusive and thriving sector, we are an industry that provides peace of mind to households and businesses across the UK and powers the growth of local and regional economies by enabling trade, risk taking, investment and innovation.

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5. More news and information from the ABI is available on our web site, www.abi.org.uk.

Last updated 27/02/2018