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Wednesday, 10 July, 2002, 11:02 GMT 12:02 UK
Car insurance premiums still rising
Car accident
Mild weather meant fewer accidents last winter
UK car owners still face higher insurance premiums, but the relentless rise is slowing down, according to the AA.

Its latest survey found that premiums for fully comprehensive motor insurance have been rising at an annual rate of less than 6% recently, compared to increases of up to 20% in recent years.

The AA found that home insurance costs were also increasing at a slower rate.

The motoring organisation said the slowdown was partly thanks to fewer claims.

Slower growth

The AA found that over the past three months the average premium for fully comprehensive car insurance was 676.07, and was rising at an annual rate of 5.62%.

Insurers will still have to put up premiums

John Close
AA Insurance

"Compared with the rate increases we saw over the previous two years, when our index shows that rates went up between 10-20%, there's a definite trend of rate increases slowing down," John Close, general manager of AA Insurance Services, told BBC Radio Five Live.

The AA also found that both buildings and contents insurance were now increasing at an annual rate of about 3%.

"One of the reasons why insurers have not needed to put rates up so much, so far this year, is because there has been a relatively mild winter and spring, so there have been fewer claims coming through," Mr Close said.

The milder weather led to fewer accidents on icy roads, and fewer frozen pipes causing damage to property.

Save money

Although premium growth was slowing, Mr Close said customers were unlikely to see any fall in insurance costs.

"Insurers will still have to put up premiums but hopefully we won't see any return to the heavier increases we've seen over the past two years," he said.

But he said it was still possible for consumers to save money by shopping around for the best deal when they came to renew their policy.


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