First dip in online comprehensive motor insurance prices for two years


News release

Serj Heera
Press Relations Executive, Automotive & Insurance
+44 (0) 115 976 8945 Tel Email

First dip in online comprehensive motor insurance prices for two years

Nottingham, UK, 9 January 2008 - Online comprehensive motor insurance premiums dipped slightly during quarter four in 2007, the first quarter to see a fall in the average price since 2005, according the latest Motor Insurance Benchmark from Experian®, the global information services company.

Experian’s Motor Insurance Benchmark revealed a 0.3 per cent fall in the average price for online comprehensive motor insurance during October, November and December in 2007, compared to the previous quarter (July, August and September 2007). 

A month-on-month review of 2007 revealed that after an initial increase during the first half of the year, the final six months saw the average online comprehensive motor insurance premium become more stable, with the final three months recording a slight dip.  The year as a whole recorded a 6.3 per cent increase in the average online price compared to 2006.

Over the second half of 2007, the average broker premium increased at a slightly faster rate than online motor insurance premiums.  Although online premiums are still higher than in the broker market, the gap is closing fairly quickly. 

Avis Easteal, Managing Director of Experian’s Insurance Services division, said: “It appears that the previously rising online premiums were finally levelling out in the second half of 2007.  Broker prices may have remained low in order to compete with online prices, but this can only be sustained for so long and prices started to creep back up in 2007.  The last six months have revealed a more rapid increase as they attempt to move closer to online levels.

“With the increased chance of road accidents at this time of the year coupled with the problem of uninsured drivers, the average premium will be affected as we move further into the new year. 

“Furthermore, the true impact of the floods earlier in 2007 is yet to manifest itself fully in insurance premiums.  As claims are being settled, we are seeing premiums begin to increase.  However, the increase is slow and it is worth bearing in mind that consumers will also be aware of the imminent price increases and will start shopping around for a cheaper quote.  With the motor insurance industry being as fiercely competitive as it is, the focus on price will increase and it could affect the speed at which premiums increase.”

The average price for third party, fire and theft motor insurance during quarter four in 2007 continued to emerge as significantly higher than the average comprehensive premium.  This is due mainly to the fact that they tend to be related to younger drivers with low or no voluntary excesses.

However, for third party, fire and theft motor insurance in the online market the year as a whole recorded a 2.1 per cent premium reduction compared to 2006.  This is due mainly to one major online insurance provider pulling out of this market when the average premium was at its highest (£674) in September 2006, resulting in the average premium dropping significantly to £559 the following month.  Since then, premiums have been increasing. 

Within the broker market, the average third party, fire and theft premium during quarter four is now at its highest point since Experian started collating the information in July 2005.


Insurance Type

Average rate Q4 2007

% change from Q3 2007

% change from Q4 2006

Average rate YTD 2007

YTD % change from 2006

Online Market Comprehensive






Broker Market Comprehensive






Online Market Third Party, Fire & Theft






Broker Market Third Party, Fire & Theft






Source: Experian’s Insurance Services division

Note: The figures were based on premium quotes for a representative basket of 1,000 risks (800 comprehensive and 200 third party, fire and theft) mystery shoppers every month from the main writers in the private motor insurance market.



The word 'Experian' is a registered trademark in the EU and other countries and is owned by Experian Ltd and/or its associated companies.

Experian’s Motor Insurance Benchmark
Experian’s Motor Insurance Benchmark provides a detailed analysis of motor insurance premium movements in the UK.  Based on 1,000 motor risks that have been compiled in conjunction with insurers, it offers one of the most accurate representations of the current motor insurance market.

Results are reported by insurance type – comprehensive and third party, fire and theft – as well as distribution channel – broker and direct – closely reflecting the current market trends and practices.

Experian’s Motor Insurance Benchmark is based on premiums derived from Experian’s market price analysis software tool, Motor Whatif?, which is currently used by 44 key UK insurers to monitor monthly price movements. It provides an average premium rate, which is calculated by taking into account the market share of insurers.  As a result, Experian’s Motor Insurance Benchmark provides a figure that accurately reflects the average motor insurance premium paid by the majority of the drivers in the UK.