Insurers driving a hard bargain
Motorists will be alarmed when they receive their insurance renewal letters with massive hikes predicted across the board. FBD, a market leader through its No Nonsense brand, has had its worst claims year in its 40-year history.
It increased premiums by over 20pc last year and will do so again by 10pc this year. It's not alone - hikes will be the order of the day across all major insurers.
The main reason is due to the highly litigious system we have here. Court trials are expensive and lengthy and we're undertaking more of them. There is no standardised system, as they have in other countries, of specific payments for injuries from motor accidents - every case is fought individually.
There's a lot of scamming in this market too - fraud makes up a big part of your premium increase even if you wouldn't dream of it yourself, everyone gets loaded.
The best way to keep your costs down is to shop around. There is zero benefit in company 'loyalty' any more. You can carry your No Claims Bonus with you (your insurer must send you it 28 days before renewal).
Other tips include having a second driver (cross-insuring partners on each other's cars actually brings down both premiums). Try bundling your motor and house insurance - most companies offer a discount. Finally, keep those penalty points away. While many insurers will ignore two, they'll hammer you for more than that.