Auto insurance costs fell slightly in Q1, finds Confused.com

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Vehicle insurance prices in the United Kingdom have recorded their first year-on-year fall since 2014, following reforms to whiplash payouts and a review of compensation paid to victims of motor accidents.

Prices for vehicle insurance premiums have dropped for the first time in three years following the Government's crackdown on whiplash claims, a study has found. It said prices peaked in the last quarter of 2017 but have since fallen 7%.

Gender differences - men on average pay £95 more than women - persist despite an European Union directive forbidding insurers to assess drivers on their sex. Although insurers can't set premiums based on gender, women generally pay less because they have fewer high-value claims and motoring convictions.

As usual, the biggest premium is paid by male drivers aged between 17 and 20 - £2,348 on average, compared to the £1,699 paid by their female counterparts.

Meanwhile, those aged between 61 and 65 enjoy the lowest prices, with the typical policy costing just £363.

The price auto owners pay for insurance also depends on the sex of the driver and the type of vehicle being driven.

Confused.com attributed the fall in premiums to a mixture of whiplash reforms and the so-called "Ogden rate". The sum is around £13 cheaper than the same period previous year.

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Confused.com said the fall in premiums came as a result of reforms to whiplash claims, meant to crack down on false reporting.

Insurers are also expected to pay less for payouts when the "Ogden rate" comes under review in April 2019, the newspaper says. In September past year, the government backtracked after the insurers said the new formula would overcompensate crash victims.

Despite the collective fall in premiums, prices in parts of Scotland have increased by as much as 6% in the a year ago, with drivers in the Scottish borders now paying an average of £579.

However, drivers living in Inner London are celebrating the biggest price reduction, making savings of £81, or a decline of 6 per cent, since last.

In Scotland, premiums are also still increasing, with motorists in the Scottish Borders area suffering the largest increase (6%) since a year ago.

Welsh motorists also saw a 2% rise, with those living in Central and Northern Wales now paying £629 on average.

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