OFT launches car insurance probe

The rising cost of car insurance in recent years has seen an investigation launched by the Office of Fair Trading.

The OFT said its figures show that the cost ofcar insurance premiums rose more than a tenth (12%) between 2009 and 2010.

It claimed that the growing trend for personal injury claims had been central in the rise, adding that the year to September also saw an increase of 9%.

But the OFT added that the rising cost of third party non-injury claims had also had an effect. These claims include covering the cost of fixing cars and paying to hire vehicles while those repairs are carried out.

The investigation will be carried out in the first months of next year.

The OFT added: "As a result of this work, the OFT has reasonable grounds for suspecting that there are features of the UK's private motor insurance market that restrict and distort competition relating to the provision of third party vehicle repairs and credit hire replacement vehicles to claimants."

Copyright © Press Association 2011