Motor insurers have paid £23m to motorists every day of the year so far, research by the Association of British Insurers has found.
The pay outs include theft, own vehicle and third party property damage, in addition to personal injury compensation.
The research shows that in the first nine months of the year, a total of £6.4bn was paid out to private motorists and in compensation to crash victims. This was an increase of 4% on the previous year.
The cost of theft claims has jumped 32% on the same period, reaching £271m. Meanwhile, the number of claims settled rose by 11%, to hit 41,000. Part of the problem is keyless vehicle crime; figures from the Office of National Statistics have shown that car theft rose by 56% last year.
Tony Newman, Allianz head of motor claims said: “It’s indisputable that both the cost to repair vehicles and car theft have risen sharply. Figures from the Office for National Statistics for England and Wales show car theft rates rose by 56% last year. Keyless vehicles are being stolen in less than 60 seconds often using devices bought over the internet.”
Repair costs have also risen, by 5% on the previous year. They now stand at £3bn, with the average repair bill costing £2137.
Huw Evans, ABI director general, said: “Motor insurers are delivering when it matters, keeping Britain’s motorists on the road when things go wrong, and compensating those who suffer injury in road crashes. Despite rising claim costs, all drivers will appreciate the fact that the average price paid for motor insurance has been falling this year.
“This in part reflects the continued competitive market, and that some insurers may be reacting to the progress of the Civil Liability Bill that is proceeding through Parliament that will bring much-needed reforms to the personal injury compensation system.”
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