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How to get cheaper car insurance as families face paying up to FIVE times as much

MUM-of-one Amber Burton could not believe it when the cost of her car cover jumped to FIVE TIMES what she paid last year.

The 32-year-old administrator from Ilkeston, near Derby, was told the bill for insuring her Kia Ceed would soar from £291 to £1,351.

Amber Burton could not believe it when the cost of her car cover jumped to FIVE TIMES what she paid last year - jumping from jump from £291 to £1,351


Amber Burton could not believe it when the cost of her car cover jumped to FIVE TIMES what she paid last year – jumping from jump from £291 to £1,351Credit: Paul Tonge

“I hadn’t made any claims, so I couldn’t understand why it was so high,” she said.

Other motorists have told Sun Money how their premiums have doubled despite there being no change in circumstances.

At the same time, some insurers have been accused of paying out too little when drivers make a claim.

Millions of drivers like Amber are being clobbered by extra costs this year — from hiked petrol prices to charges for clean air zones like London’s Ulez.

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That’s why The Sun is calling for more help for motorists with our Give Us A Brake crusade.

The increase in the cost of cover is heaping more misery on drivers as the average premium is up by £208 from £535 to £743 over the past year, according to Comparethemarket.

Young drivers aged 17-24 faced a steeper rise, with costs up by more than £500 to £1,610 a year, it found.

Insurers blame the cost of ­paying for repairs, which has risen 33 per cent over the past year due to inflation — reflecting sharp increases in the cost of materials such as paint.

The Association of British Insurers, which represents the industry, also highlights the 30 per cent increase in used car values over the past year, which means it is more expensive to replace vehicles.

Last year, insurers were banned from charging existing customers more than they would a new ­customer who applied presenting the same circumstances.

But as the Morgan family from Barnham in Suffolk discovered, you still need to shop around to get the best price.

Carley, 35, who works in a school kitchen, and hospitality manager Peter, 45, found the premium on their Suzuki S-Cross had more than doubled from £489 to £1,321 when they received her renewal quote in July.

Carley, who is mum to Mya, 13, and 11-year-old Alfie, said: “We’ve got a nine-year no claims bonus — I can’t understand why it’s gone up by so much.”

Unhappy with the deal from her existing provider — Geoffrey Insurance — she found cover with another company for £480.

Even though the new rules were meant to stop insurers from charging loyal customers more than new ones, in reality insurers only need to match prices in a like-for-like situation.

That means if you are checking quotes as an existing ­customer against new rates, unless they are made at exactly the same time through the same website, they do not need to offer the same price.

Consumer expert Andrew ­Hagger, from personal finance website Moneycomms, warned: ­“Existing customers are still being quoted rip-off prices.”

Other drivers feel they have been treated unfairly when they came to make a claim.

The Financial Conduct Authority, which regulates insurers, said last year that some firms had paid out too little when cars were written off — and in June Direct Line was ordered to review five years’ worth of claims.

Retired carer Barbara Pain, 68, felt her claim was rejected unfairly by Direct Line when her Vauxhall Corsa was badly damaged while parked near her home in Malvern, Worcs.

A local mechanic said the engine was damaged beyond repair and advised her to claim for it as a write-off.

But Direct Line refused to pay out as its own mechanic felt the engine damage was down to wear and tear — even though he had not inspected the car himself. ­

Barbara was £1,995 out of pocket until Sun Money stepped in.

Direct Line apologised and agreed to pay the full sum plus £250 as a goodwill gesture for the delay.

A spokesman said: “While the repairs to the vehicle fell ­outside the policy terms and conditions, we should have provided a clearer explanation on how the claim should be managed.”

Both Amber Burton and the Morgan family were customers of Geoffrey Insurance, part of BGL Group.

Shaun Wathey, customer services executive at BGL, said many factors were pushing up insurers’ costs and it was not just down to whether a driver’s personal ­situation has changed.

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“The cost of repairing a vehicle, or issuing market value, if the vehicle cannot be repaired have increased,” he said.

He added that BGL had also uncovered an issue with pricing whereby a small number of ­customers were quoted less than they should have been last year.


TRY comparing quotes at different times of the day and on different days of the week. One motorist told us her best quote was doubled in the evening and back to the original price the next morning.

Adding an older and more experienced driver can save young motorists up to £240 a year, according to Comparethemarket.

But never lie about who is the main driver as this would be fraud.

If you are not happy with your insurer’s response to a complaint, go to the Financial Ombudsman Service for free within six months.

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