Auto Insurance Increases in Canada and UK, Too

January 26, 2010

It may seem as if the United States is the only country suffering from a dire economic situation. Our auto insurance premiums rose in almost every state this year, as did our homeowners insurance premiums. However, we are not alone; what affects us, tends to affect the world at large. In 2009, Canada and the United Kingdom of Great Britain also saw rate increases.

On January 15th, the Canadian Press reported that the Finance Services Commission of Ontario approved increased auto insurance rates in the last quarter of 2009 that averaged 2.5%, while the overall increase for all of last year was 8.77% – a much sharper increase than 2008’s rate hike of 5.6%, and a significant change from the period from 2004-2006 where auto insurance rates in Canada actually went down.

Representatives of the Canadian government are quick to remind their constituents that current rates are roughly the same as they were in 2003, and that there are planned changes to auto insurance pricing that will go into effect this summer, and help stabilize costs and premiums.

If the nearly 9% increase in Canada has consumers worried, be glad you’re not in the UK. According to the Glasgow Daily Record, pricing in parts of the UK has increased to $564.19 pounds/year – almost 20% more than it was at this time a year ago, with young drivers (those aged 17-24) seeing an increase of nearly 25%, to an average annual premium of $1499 pounds.

The Daily Record gets its figures from the Consumer Intelligence market research firm, which also says that the smallest increases in insurance are in the premiums paid by mature drivers – those over the age of 65 – whose increases have been a mere 15%.

Overall, the average increase in the last year has been 20.1 percent for male drivers in the UK, and 19.1 percent for female drivers.

Ian Hughes, managing director for Consumer Intelligence, told the Daily Record, “The advent of price comparison websites had actually kept a lid on car insurance premiums for some time. But these figures show the upward pressure on pricing has well and truly broken through. The worry is this could result in more motorists choosing not to insure their vehicles and drive illegally, or feel that they can no longer afford to run a car.”

It would seem that the adage “times are tough all over,” is truly universal, at least when it comes to auto insurance premiums. How do you save money? The answer’s the same whether you live in Canada, the UK, or the United States: shop online, compare quotes, and ask for discounts.