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Latest Insurance News

The latest news from the insurance sector:

September 20, 2012

EU gender rules bring mixed blessings for women

by Jan Harris
EU gender rules bring mixed blessings for women
New EU rules, due to take effect on 21 December, are expected to lead to a substantial increase in the cost of car insurance for female drivers, but could benefit female pensioners. In 2011, the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg ruled that setting insurance premiums or pensions based on gender was discriminatory and breached EU rules on ...




September 19, 2012

Allow launches social media insurance

by Jan Harris
Allow launches social media insurance
Allow Ltd, a London-based company focused on helping people protect the privacy of their personal data, has launched the UK’s first social media insurance for consumers. The firm offers services to deal with social media account hacking, reputational damage and other types of ID theft. With Facebook accounts being hacked at a rate of 600,000 a day worldwide, the market for Allow’s products ...




September 14, 2012

Google launches price comparison service for car insurance

by Jan Harris
Google launches price comparison service for car insurance
Google has stepped further into the price comparison market with a new service to compare car insurance quotes from around 120 insurers. The search giant is using its technology to make sure its own service is top of the list of results when internet users type ‘car insurance’ into the Google search engine. Digital marketing agency Greenlight said that Google’s ...




September 13, 2012

Insurance fraud register launched

by Jan Harris
Insurance fraud register launched
The Association of British Insurers (ABI) has launched the Insurance Fraud Register in an effort to cut the number of fraudulent insurance claims. Around 400 fraudulent insurance claims are made each day, according to an ABI report. This adds up to £1 billion a year and means that insurance premiums cost an average of £50 more than they need to. It is hoped that reducing ...




September 11, 2012

PPI complaints soar

by Jan Harris
PPI complaints soar
The Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) received 1,500 complaints about Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) mis-selling per day, in the first six months of 2012 The number of PPI complaints received by the ombudsman grew by 42 per cent to 85,562 in the first half of the year, despite banks promising to deal with compensation claims promptly. Businesses are required to deal with complaints within eight weeks, ...




September 7, 2012

Private medical insurance becoming less popular

by Jan Harris
Private medical insurance becoming less popular
Fewer individuals are taking out standalone private medical insurance (PMI) policies, although demand for company PMI schemes returned to growth last year. According to new figures from healthcare intelligence provider Laing and Buisson, the number of private medical insurance policies in existence in 2011 fell by 0.2 per cent compared with the previous year, to 3.97 million. This represents a substantial improvement ...




September 4, 2012

Direct Line close to separating from RBS

by Jan Harris
Direct Line close to separating from RBS
Direct Line Insurance has revealed that its separation from Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) is ”substantially complete". In an upbeat announcement the insurer said that it expects profitability to soar following the separation. RBS is selling Direct Line under the conditions imposed by European regulators on its bailout by the UK government during the credit crunch. Direct Line, which includes ...




August 30, 2012

Automatic insurance renewal costs motorists £3 billion

by Jan Harris
Automatic insurance renewal costs motorists £3 billion
Automatic car insurance renewals are causing British drivers to be collectively out-of-pocket by £3.1 billion a year. Price comparison site MoneySupermarket.com claims that the 8 million drivers who remain with their existing insurer could save £404 each if they shopped around. More than one in five UK car owners automatically renew their motor insurance, according to a new study by the ...




August 22, 2012

Police seize millionth uninsured vehicle

by Jan Harris
Police seize millionth uninsured vehicle
Police have seized the millionth uninsured vehicle, indicating the size of the problem of uninsured driving in the UK. The vehicle was seized in Birmingham, which is one of UK’s motor insurance evasion hotspots. According to the Motor Insurers' Bureau (MIB), Bordesley in Birmingham has now replaced the Barkerend area of Bradford as the place with the highest concentration of uninsured motorists. ...




August 8, 2012

Health insurance becoming unaffordable warns Bupa

by Jan Harris
Health insurance becoming unaffordable warns Bupa
The rising cost of private healthcare is pushing health insurance in the UK up to unaffordable levels, according to international healthcare group Bupa. A lack of competition among private hospitals has led to the cost of treatment rising, and the insurer says that this could lead to health insurance becoming unaffordable. An increase in the cost of its health insurance, together with ...




August 3, 2012

Holidaymakers shun travel insurance and breakdown cover

by Jan Harris
Holidaymakers shun travel insurance and breakdown cover
Many holidaymakers will embark on their annual break without any travel insurance and people taking to the roads in Europe are failing to take out breakdown cover. A study by the Money Advice Service reveals that 53 per cent of people in the UK are planning to take a summer holiday, but half of these holidaymakers haven’t yet bought their travel ...




July 31, 2012

PPI scandal to cost banks £10 billion

by Jan Harris
PPI scandal to cost banks £10 billion
The UK’s ‘big five’ banks have now paid out £8.8 billion in compensation to customers mis-sold payment protection insurance (PPI) and the eventual bill is expected to exceed £10 billion. Administration and staff costs will send the bill even higher. Banks are suffering an administrative headache in trying to sort out genuine claims from the thousands of ineligible claims sent in by ...




July 27, 2012

FSA tightens insurance mis-selling rules

by Jan Harris
FSA tightens insurance mis-selling rules
The Financial Services Authority (FSA) has announced new rules to prevent banks and building societies mis-selling accounts which include insurance policies. Customers pay a fee for packaged accounts, which often include travel insurance, mobile phone insurance, and breakdown cover alongside deals on overdrafts, foreign currency and even offers on music downloads and business class lounge access at airports. In the wake of the ...




Average car insurance now more than £1,000

by Jan Harris
Average car insurance now more than £1,000
The average cost of car insurance is now £1,034, breaking the £1,000 barrier for the first time, according to the AA British insurance premium index. Motor insurance is now 8.5 per cent higher than it was a year ago and has doubled in price over four years. In July 2008 the average fully comprehensive policy cost just £509. Young male drivers have been ...




July 16, 2012

Sharp fall in car insurance costs

by Jan Harris
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The average cost of comprehensive car insurance was £797 in spring 2012, a fall of more than 7 per cent, or £60, compared with a year ago. The fall reverses a steady rise in the price of motor insurance premiums since 2009. A survey by Confused.com and professional services company Towers Watson revealed that men are paying £110 more than woman, on average, but this is ...




July 12, 2012

‘Black box’ motor insurance sales soar

by Jan Harris
‘Black box’ motor insurance sales soar
Sales of telematic, or ‘black-box’, car insurance will reach 500,000 in the next two years, according to the British Insurance Brokers’ Association (Biba). The trade body for the insurance industry has recorded a five-fold increase in this type of motor insurance in the past two years. The use of telematic technology is proving popular because it can reduce the cost of motor insurance, ...




Floods could increase home insurance costs for all

by Jan Harris
Floods causing higher home insurance costs for all
The growing risk of flooding in the UK could lead to an increase in the cost of home insurance for everyone, regardless of where they live. Britain has been awash with rain for the last three months and with many parts of the country suffering from repeated flooding, insurance companies are likely to miss their profit targets because of ...




July 9, 2012

Bogus PFI mis-selling claims soar

by Jan Harris
Bogus PFI mis-selling claims soar
The Building Societies Association (BSA) is calling for claims management companies to be more strictly governed after mutual lenders were bombarded with bogus claims over the mis-selling of payment protection insurance (PPI). The number of claims soared by 247 per cent in the six months to the end of April 2012, compared with the previous three months. PPI was routinely sold by financial ...




July 4, 2012

Personal injury claims soar despite fewer accidents

by Jan Harris
Personal injury claims soar despite fewer accidents
The number of road accidents fell by 11 per cent in 2011 and yet the number of personal injury claims increased by 18 per cent. The figures were revealed in a report by the Institute And Faculty Of Actuaries. The study found that more personal injury claims are made in areas which are well supplied with claims management companies, suggesting that ...




June 20, 2012

Confused.com calls for insurance shake-up

by Jan Harris
Confused.com calls for insurance shake-up
The insurance market is failing to keep up with social changes according to a new study by comparison site Confused.com. With more people marrying later in life, the site claims that traditional insurance products are failing to meet the needs of the increasing number of people who are joining up with friends to buy a house. Confused.com and The Future Laboratory interviewed 2,000 ...