The road ahead

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THE conundrum over car insurance is this: if premiums continue to sky-rocket, then more motorists will disregard the law and not take out adequate cover. The consequence? Higher bills for the law-abiding majority and even more financial heartache if they have the misfortune to be involved in an accident caused by an uninsured driver.

This is why the Office of Fair Trading’s investigation is timely. Even though premiums rose by 12 per cent between 2009 and 2010, there was not a corresponding increase in the number of accidents or injuries, though the costs associated with claims for repairs and replacement vehicles escalated dramatically.

Yet there have to be fundamental flaws with the insurance system when, even with the advent of price comparison websites, motorists in Bradford, and with blemish-free driving records, are being quoted thousands of pounds to insure their vehicle.

In short, the OFT inquiry must be robust and not just examine the insurance industry’s pricing practices – but the costs charged by those garages that have contracts to carry out repairs. There has to be a cheaper, and more realistic, way forward.