U.K. AUTO RATES ON THE RISE

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Drivers in the U.K. face automobile insurance premium increases of 25 percent or more within the next 12 months, warned Mintel, a marketing research firm. The average premium in 1999 was £226 ($336). It’s expected to rise this year to £283 ($421), and to reach an average cost of as much as £353 ($526) by 2001. Analysts cite several reasons for the increases.

For most of the 90s, U.K. auto insurers have been engaged in a price war that has kept premiums at artificially low levels. More claims and larger settlements for compensation, that now include awards for ongoing care expenses and loss of earnings, have increased the costs of recovery for personal injuries. More cars and more uninsured motorists have also added to insurers costs. It’s estimated that there will be three cars in the U.K. for every five adults.


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