Motor insurance claims total £2bn in Q2

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Motor insurers paid out a total of £2bn in claims in the second quarter of 2017, according to new figures from the Association of British Insurers (ABI).

The average claim amounted to £2,839, up 6% on the same period last year, with repair bills and theft costs both going up.

The total bill for vehicle repairs, including third party claims and windscreen damage, reached £1bn -- the highest quarterly figure on record and a 3% increase compared with the same quarter last year.

Over the last four years, the average cost of repairing damaged vehicles of policyholders has risen by 33% to £1,770.

The increasing complexity and technology of modern vehicles and, more recently, the fall in the pound which has led to more expensive spare parts, are behind rising repair bills.

Meanwhile, the cost of theft claims is up 21% on the same quarter last year, reaching £68m.

The number of claims, at nearly 13,000, is at its highest quarterly level since early 2013. The rise has partly been fuelled by the increasing use of high-tech devices enabling car thieves to steal cars without forcible entry, the ABI explained.

Commenting on the quarterly figures, Rob Cummings, head of Motor and Liability at the ABI, said:

"Cost pressures continue to dominate the motor insurance market. Rising repair bills reflect increasing vehicle technology and complexity, but also the availability and cost of some spare parts sourced overseas. We need the best possible Brexit deal to help ensure availability of vehicle parts.

"These figures further highlight why the Government needs to act to help relieve unnecessary industry costs. The recent Government announcement to introduce legislation to reform the Discount Rate should help. It is also important that the Government effectively implements their whiplash reforms, and that there are no further hikes in Insurance Premium Tax."

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