Car insurance customers must be able to request a “premium reduction” or add extra months to a policy agreement during the crisis, according to experts. Insurance specialists By Miles said they hoped to see car insurance figures show a “marked decrease” to ensure customers were being treated right amid the crisis.
The comments come just a day after analysis from Confused.com revealed average car insurance prices had increased.
Prices had risen by six percent to £809 per year despite dramatic decreases in journeys due to coronavirus lockdown restrictions.
The report found car insurance costs have increased by their highest amount in two years in a concerning find for motorists at a financially difficult time.
Insurance premiums have increased dramatically for younger drivers with costs around £55 higher over the past three months.
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The sudden rise means motorists aged just 17 may need to pay over £2,000 a year to ensure they have the right cover for the road.
By Miles claims insurers stand to make more than £1billion from a reduction in car claims and are demanding these savings are passed onto customers in the form of lower tariffs.
ByMiles’ CEO James Blackham said: “These figures highlight the high price Brits are currently being forced to pay for a service they’re not using, with the average price of car insurance rising 6 percent in the last year. Why should drivers pay to insure miles they are not driving?
“Everyone is forced to make changes during the unprecedented situation we’re living through at the moment – and that should include car insurers.
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“As people are driving far fewer miles while in lockdown, the number of insurance claims due to accidents also decreases – and insurers stand to make in excess of £1bn from this reduction in claims.
“Those savings must be passed on to the public. Policyholders must be able to request a premium reduction or extra months added onto their policy and we hope to see the next round of figures showing a marked decrease in premiums – anything else isn’t treating customers fairly.”
Some US car insurance companies have offered their customers discounts and refunds on policies amid the outbreak.
This is because customers are using their cars less and therefore have a lower risk of having a crash and claiming.
US firm American Family Mutual has offered $ 200million (£161million) worth of refunds to customers with insurance firm Geico offering discounts worth $ 2.5billion (£2billion)
However, a similar policy has not been introduced in the UK with many firms already being accused of profiteering from coronavirus.
The Financial Conduct Authority and the Association of British Insurers (ABI) have demanded no car insurance firm is unfair to motorists and their right to claim is not affected.
However these assurances have not been met with financial support for vulnerable road users at this difficult time.
The ABI has said any return of money is a decision for individual insurance providers to offer.
ByMiles issued a similar plea to insurance companies last week as they warned continuing to charge a fixed amount was not appropriate.
They claimed fixed contracts would mean motorists may continue to be overcharged during the crisis which could affect many individuals,
The specialists said this would hit young drivers “particularly hard” as many would be paying premiums as high as £200 per month while staying at home.
The group have waived their own cancellation fees for any new policies they sell.
ByMiles has also said customers who need to change a policy after three months will not be charged a cancellation fee.