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Unmasked – the Insurance Industry Gets Snippy on IPT

  • “Never has a cut in IPT been more needed to help millions of hard-pressed families and businesses manage their finances” says the ABI.
  • Over two-thirds of people have little or no knowledge of IPT, despite around 84% of UK households paying it, making it UK’s ‘hidden in plain sight’ tax.

Research out today from the Association of British Insurers highlights a widespread lack of awareness of Insurance Premium Tax (IPT), despite it impacting 84% of UK households, making it the nation’s “hidden in plain sight” tax.1

IPT applies to most general insurance policies including motor, home, pet, and private medical insurance. The standard rate has doubled to 12% since October 2015. It is likely to hit the poorest the hardest who spend proportionately more on insurance, such as home and motor.

To power its campaign calling for a cut in IPT to help hard pressed households and businesses, the ABI has created a mascot, named Snippy.

Created by the costume production team behind the hit ITV show ‘The Masked Singer’, Snippy is a human-sized pair of scissors billed as helping to ‘unmask’ IPT as a tax that punishes responsible choices.

Snippy Youtube.png

The campaign also highlights new research that shows most people have little or no knowledge of the tax. Research commissioned by the ABI and conducted by OnePoll among 2,000 insurance customers highlights that:

  • Over two thirds of people (67%) admit that they either have little or no knowledge of IPT.
  • 50% of people said that they had little or no idea of the impact that IPT had on their insurance costs. This despite the fact that this tax now adds an extra £67 to the cost of the average price paid for motor insurance.
  • Some insurance customers are slimming down their cover, with one in five (21%) removing additional extras they had previously included.

IPT earning similar to ‘sin taxes’ of alcohol, cigarettes and gambling.

It is estimated that IPT receipts will surpass £8bn this tax year, with current receipts up 10% vs the previous financial year. So far (to end Jan 2024) IPT has brought in £6.7bn, compared to beer (£3.1bn), spirits (£3.7bn), tobacco (£7.3bn) and gambling (£2.3bn).2

MERVYN_SKEET_500x500.pngMervyn Skeet, Director of General Insurance Policy said:

“It is high time we unmask this tax which penalises people and businesses for being responsible.

“This tax hits the poorest hardest because they typically spend more on insurance, such as home and motor cover, as a proportion of their income.

“There has never been a better time for the government to show its support to the millions of homeowners and businesses who do the right thing by buying insurance. We should cut IPT now.




Snippy images and video are available for use from here. Please credit ‘Association of British Insurers’.



1. FCA Financial Lives Survey 2022, page 81. https://www.fca.org.uk/publication/financial-lives/financial-lives-survey-2022-key-findings.pdf - 84% of households have one or more IPT-applicable insurance product.

2. Predicted IPT receipts: ONS Public Sector Revenue 21 Feb 2024: IPT revenues in the financial year incl. January at £6.7bn are up £510m on the same point last year and is on track to surpass £8bn in the 23-24 financial year, relative to £7.45bn in FY22-23.


Enquiries to:

Malcolm Tarling                 

020 7216 7410        

Mobile: 07776 147667   

Helen Mitchell                

020 7216 7411        

Mobile: 07834 328512  

Heidi Pullig

020 7216 7340       

Mobile: 07595 106221  


The ABI is the voice of the UK’s world-leading insurance and long-term savings industry, which is the largest sector in Europe and the third largest in the world. We represent more than 300 firms within our membership, including most household names and specialist providers, providing peace of mind to customers across the UK.

Last updated 29/02/2024