Car insurance Updated:
Car insurance premiums continued to rise in 2011 as young drivers suffered the greatest increases yet again.
Prices have increased by more than 15% over the past year taking the average 'shop around' premium for someone wanting an annual comprehensive policy to £971.40, according to AA's benchmark British Insurance Premium Index.
The Shoparound index is an average of the three cheapest quotes from a range of insurers, brokers and schemes.
With a small fall in premiums having been seen during the third quarter, Simon Douglas, director of AA Insurance, admitted to being surprised that the increase was so large.
However, the research revealed it is younger drivers that continue to have to dig deepest into their pockets, with young men being hit the hardest. The average premium quoted for men aged 17-22 is £3,194, while for women in the same age group, the average quote is 41% lower at £1,879.
"Young drivers seem to be the biggest losers with a higher than average increase for them," said Mr Douglas.
"It's clear that young drivers continue to be of concern to insurers, while many no longer offer cover to those under 21."
Set to shake the industry up, however, is last year's European Court of Justice ruling that using gender to set insurance premiums is discriminatory.
This means that insurers will no longer be able to take gender into account from December 2012.
Everyone who has bought a car insurance policy since the end of December will see their next renewal affected by the ruling.
"Young women will see the biggest premium increases," said Mr Douglas.
"It is unknown territory for insurers who will be careful to avoid significant losses they can ill afford."
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