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If you’ve had to renew your car insurance recently, chances are you probably had a bit of a shock when you saw your new premium.
Most of us have experienced up to a terrifying 40% increase in insurance premiums, with the average annual comprehensive policy predicted to break the £1,000 barrier within 12 months according to the Daily Mail.
And the biggest reason behind it? Fraudulent claims.
Fraud may include criminal gangs staging accidents with innocent drivers, bogus injury claims and also people purposely taking the rap for another driver caught in an accident.
The Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB) has recently revealed the worst areas when it comes to fraudulent claims, with Birmingham taking the top spot, followed by Liverpool, Manchester, East London and Bradford. If you live in the worst-offending postcodes within those cities, you may even find yourself refused insurance altogether, even if you’ve never made a claim in your life.
Ironically, you may be surprised to learn the UK has the safest roads in Europe, with the lowest number of recorded crashes per person. Yet the AA reveals it has four times more whiplash claims than any other country. It seems the “where there’s blame, there’s a claim” ethos from over the water has well and truly established itself here in Blighty. In fact, for every £1 you pay for insurance, a depressingly high 10p goes to personal-injury claims lawyers.
Add to that the estimated 1.5 million uninsured drivers in the UK, for which each and every one of us pays an additional £40 a year, and it’s enough to get anyone hopping mad.
But what can the honest car owner do? Unfortunately it doesn’t look like things are going to change any time soon. In fact, if you’re female things will probably only get worse in December when it will become illegal for women to pay less than men for insurance – despite the fact they’re less likely to make expensive claims.
So every little thing you can do to minimise your premiums is worthwhile…and here are our top tips: