Insurance premiums hit a five-year low in the three months between September 1 and November 30, according to a leading price comparison site. Figures from CompareTheMarket.com suggest the average car insurance premium fell to £707 in the autumn of 2020.
That figure is down £24 on the same period in 2019, and it’s the lowest average car insurance premium for that time of year since 2015. And the average cheapest premium – the lowest amount the average customer is quoted – fell from £617 in the autumn of 2019 to £603 during the same timeframe last year.
That said, the average cheapest premium is slightly higher than in the previous three-month period between June 1 and August 31. Back then, the cheapest quote for a year’s fully comprehensive insurance averaged £598 – but CompareTheMarket.com says the usual winter spike in insurance prices has not materialised.
According to the firm, premiums have remained low during the government’s social distancing restrictions put in place as a result of the coronavirus crisis. The guidance, which encourages working from home and only making essential journeys, has cut traffic and reduced the number of claims. That, in turn, has helped to push premiums down.
Furthermore, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has asked insurers to look at the risk profiles of customers, as circumstances may have changed significantly because of the coronavirus. It also asked motor insurers to waive cancellation fees and other charges associated with changing policy details.
Thanks to those changes, CompareTheMarket.com says average premiums have dropped by £48 since the start of the pandemic. Following the second lockdown in England, the average November premium fell to £691 – down by £25 compared with the previous month. It was the cheapest monthly figure since March.
“Cheaper premiums this winter are a silver lining for motorists,” said Dan Hutson, the head of motor insurance at CompareTheMarket.com. “Drivers will be pleased that premiums are more affordable than in previous years, as household budgets continue to be strained. The cost of insurance began to rise in the autumn, but after the second lockdown came into force premiums began falling again.
“Switching to a cheaper deal continues to be the best way to cut the cost of car insurance, with our research showing the difference between the cheapest and average premium is £104. In addition, if you plan to spend less time on the road in the coming months, perhaps because you can work from home, your insurer may consider you a lower risk and cut the cost of your premium. However, as the vaccine roll-out gets underway and the economy starts to recover, premiums may also start to rise as more motorists return to the roads.”