Priced off the road

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HAVING been told the cost of insuring her modest Vectra was increasing from a mere £700 to £100,000 a year, Wakefield motorist Sian Jones can consider herself fortunate that she does not drive a more high-powered vehicle. Even though Vauxhall Insurance said it was the most competitive quote before later blaming a “one-off system error”, the cost of the insurance would have outstripped the car’s actual value many times over.

Yet such instances are becoming more frequent, particularly as insurance companies link local crime-rates to specific postcodes before setting premiums. It is very pertinent here; 11 of England’s 20 worst burglary hotspots can now be found in this region according to a survey published yesterday.

And as the practices of the insurance industry come under renewed scrutiny, there is an important road safety principle at stake.

There are already too many uninsured cars on Britain’s roads, pushing up the premiums of those motorists, like Miss Jones, who fulfil their legal obligations. As such, it is time that an element of realism was introduced before the law-abiding are priced off the road.