We are the voice of insurance and long-term savings | Contact us

ABI takes action on motor premium finance

Financial Inclusion Strategy image.jpg

  • Principles aimed at managing the cost of paying-monthly for motor insurance.
  • One of many steps being taken to tackle motor insurance affordability.
  • Motor cover costs is one of three key consumer issues highlighted in the ABI’s new Financial Inclusion Strategy.

Members of the Association of British Insurers (ABI) have committed to new steps to try and manage the amount that those paying monthly for their motor insurance are charged for the benefit.

Announced today, the Premium Finance Principles underline what fair practice should look like and revolve around five elements: Transparency, affordability, fair value, proportionality and accountability.

As a result, such charges should be made completely clear to consumers and be reasonable, relative to the cost incurred by the insurer for providing the option.

The ABI set out the steps the industry is taking to combat the rise in the cost of motor insurance at its conference in February. A focus on premium finance is an important part of this work, and while a voluntary industry-led cap on premium finance charges was considered and discussed with the FCA, the principles represent what is possible within the limits allowed by competition laws and provide a basis for firms to take meaningful action.

Furthermore, following discussions with other organisations involved in providing premium finance (i.e. brokers and third-party finance providers), the ABI is confident the principles are supported throughout the wider market.

The Premium Finance Principles committed to today are:


Transparency. When setting out any cost for paying by monthly instalments, insurers should provide a clear comparison of the total cost of paying annually and the total cost of paying monthly. Insurers should also publish up-to-date, clear information about their common or average premium finance charges.


Affordability. When deciding on their premium finance offering to customers, insurers should have regard to the fact that many consumers cannot afford to pay for their insurance up front, in one lump sum and so charges for paying by monthly instalments can fall hardest on those who can least afford it.


Fair value. Insurers must ensure that costs associated with monthly instalments represent fair value. As part of this, insurers should consider how any income from premium finance compares to their income on the core premium.


Proportionality. Insurers should ensure that charges are reasonable, relative to the costs of providing premium finance for monthly payments. Insurers should also consider charges relative to comparable and accessible alternative payment options, such as a credit card.


Governance and Accountability. Insurers must regularly review the cost to customers of premium finance, using suitable information or data to ensure any charges remain appropriate. They should ensure the right level of senior management accountability for their approach taken on premium finance charges and its impact on consumers.

The ABI has committed to publish a report by Summer 2025 on the impact of these principles on premium finance for motor insurance customers.

Motor insurance affordability is one of three highlighted consumer issues in the ABI’s Financial Inclusion Strategy, launched today, alongside reducing the impact of ill health on financial security and filling the pensions advice gap.

Motor insurance costs have been a particular focus after claims inflation led to the cost of premiums rising 25% in 2023. EY estimates that in 2023 for every £1 paid in premiums, insurers incurred £1.14 in claims and expenses.

Mervyn Skeet, Director, Head of General Insurance policy said:

MERVYN_SKEET_500x500.png“The principles announced today are one of a raft of actions we are taking to tackle the cost of motor insurance, which we know is putting pressure on households, especially those on lower incomes. We are doing all that we can within our reach asa trade body for insurers and hope that other organisations involved with premium finance follow our lead."

“We’re also looking to investigate policy steps that could help low-income households specifically, as well as deliver on our broader Roadmap to tackling costs. This includes a call on the government to reduce insurance premium tax (IPT), especially when they are bringing in record tax revenues as a result of higher prices.”

The Premium Finance Principles include explanation of why insurers charge for pay-monthly1 namely that it incurs administrative costs and the insurer is unable to invest an annual sum or use those funds to pay claims.


1. Premium finance costs to insurers. Premium finance incurs cost for insurers in a range of ways. Monthly administration of payment and reporting requirements on insurers for finance agreements are direct costs, but other factors also impact. If a customer is paying monthly and they miss a payment, the insurer continues to provide cover (without having been paid for it) until the missed payment is received or the policy is cancelled.

Furthermore, if a customer chooses to pay annually, the sum of money is made immediately available to the insurer who can then invest this into their business and help maintain enough funds to pay out claims and keep premiums lower. This cannot be achieved in the same way through premiums received on a monthly basis.


Enquiries to:

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 25/04/2024