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UK motor premiums spiral to record high

Premiums for comprehensive car insurance in the UK hit a record £462 ($760) on average in the fourth quarter of last year, partly driven by the rising cost of whiplash claims.

The previous record of £443 ($728) was set in the second quarter of 2012, according to the Association of British Insurers (ABI).

Average premiums paid by UK motorists last year increased 9.3% compared with 2015.

Rises in the insurance premium tax since 2015 and growing repair bills caused by increasingly complex car technology are other factors behind the spike in fourth-quarter premium.

ABI Assistant Director Head of Motor and Liability Rob Cummings says the figures underscore the need for reforms.

“These continue to be tough times for honest motorists,” he said. “They are bearing the brunt of a cocktail of rising costs associated with increasing whiplash-style claims, rising repair bills and a higher rate of insurance premium tax.

In November the Ministry of Justice issued a consultation paper on plans to either eliminate whiplash claims or cap them, with the initiatives estimated to save insurers about £1 billion ($1.64 billion) in claims if implemented.

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