Car insurance claims halved during lockdown

Between April and June 2020, motor insurance claims plunged 48 percent to 324,000, reflecting fewer journeys made during lockdown

Isuzu D-Max car crash

New figures from the Association of British Insurers (ABI) show a dramatic fall in car insurance claims during the 2020 coronavirus lockdown period.

Between April and June 2020, motor insurance claims were down 48 percent, from approximately 678,000 claims to 324,000.

“The fall largely reflected the lockdown period, when far fewer vehicle journeys were made,” said the ABI.

This has helped push the average price paid for comprehensive car insurance down to a four-year low of £460.

“Insurers have been passing on cost savings to their customers,” said ABI manager Laura Hughes.

“However, cost pressures remain, such as rising vehicle repair costs reflecting ever-more complex vehicle technology, and increased vehicle theft.”

£19,500 personal injury average

While the value of claims settled during Q2 2020 also fell, it was only down five percent, with £2.1 billion paid out. This reflects existing claims from previous quarters – but also shows how the value of the average claim is rising.

Indeed, this was up 27 percent over the previous quarter, to £4,600.

This is the largest quarterly rise on record, and influenced by the value of both the average theft and accidental damage claim going up 14 percent.

Worryingly, the average value of personal injury claims also leapt 34 percent – to a staggering £19,500.

“With personal injury costs continuing to rise, it is important that the whiplash reforms scheduled to be implemented in April 2021 are not delayed further,” said Ms. Hughes.   

Matthew Scott, executive director of the Association of Consumer Support Organisations (ACSO), added it was not surprising that personal injury claims had risen by so much.

“With fewer cars on the road, incidents are likely to have taken place at higher speeds, and the injuries suffered much more severe.”


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Richard Aucock
Richard is director at Motoring Research. He has been with us since 2001, and has been a motoring journalist even longer. He won the IMCO Motoring Writer of the Future Award in 1996 and the acclaimed Sir William Lyons Award in 1998. Both awards are run by the Guild of Motoring Writers and Richard is currently chairman of the world's largest organisation for automotive media professionals. Richard is also a juror for World Car Awards and the UK juror for the AUTOBEST awards.


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