Many of you will be aware that most general insurance policy premiums are subject to Insurance Premium Tax (IPT) at 10%. The sort of policies this applies to include the likes of, motor, home, private health insurance and pet insurance.
That’s all about to change as the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced in his Autumn Statement of a few days ago that this tax was being increased by 2% to 12% with effect from the 1st June 2017. This will be the third time this tax has been increased since November 2015. On the 1st November last year IPT went up from 6% to 9.5% – a rise of 3.5% and then it increased by 0.5% to 10% on the 1st October 2016.
This means that, if you are currently paying say £500 per annum for your motor insurance, say £400 per annum for your home insurance, say £300 per annum for your pet insurance and say £1,000 per annum for your private health cover then you would see your total premiums for these policies increase by £44 per annum which, if you pay monthly, means that you would have to find an extra £3.66 per month. This increase would exceed the forecast saving of £40 per annum that motorists may make if certain changes proposed by the Government were made to how whiplash claims are dealt with as referred to in our news article of the 17th November 2016.
This announcement has not gone down well with many in the insurance industry including the Association of British Insurers (ABI) that is concerned how hard it will hit some people. Of course, this increase will particularly affect those who are paying the highest premiums for their cover such as young drivers and motorists living in some inner city areas. Unfortunately, this rise may result in more uninsured drivers on our roads.
The ABI estimate that in excess of 50 million policies will be affected by this increase. Apparently, in Europe, the UK will have the 6th largest rate for IPT. It is estimated that by 2018/2019 Insurance Premium Tax will add around £6 billion to the Government’s “coffers”. The 20% IPT rate used for what some consider to be luxury insurance products including travel insurance, mechanical/electrical appliances insurance and even spacecraft insurance has remained unchanged.
The government will argue that the general cost of IPT throughout Europe is 19% but this does not take into account that the average motor insurance premium paid by UK’s drivers is significantly higher to begin with. In fact, the UK has the fourth most expensive average motor insurance premium in the world (behind the US, Austria and Germany).
It is to be hoped that this announcement does not encourage some policyholders to cancel any of their insurance policies as they no doubt provide valuable cover. In the case of motor insurance, it is a legal requirement that motorised vehicles are insured unless they are kept off the public road system and declared SORN (Statutory Off Road Notification).
Here at AIB Insurance, whilst we can obviously do nothing to prevent this increase in IPT, we will continue as we always have done to endeavour to provide our customers with competitive quotations for their insurance policies from the extensive panel of insurers at our disposal.