It has all been a horrible misunderstanding, insurers’ body the ABI revealed to Post Magazine and other more or less reputable news organs this week.

The trigger for ABI’s comments was a survey carried out for young person’s motor insurance provider Young Marmalade which found that nobody under the age of 30 can afford to drive any more (see previous story).

In a rapid and savage response, the ABI has accused the Transport Select Committee of not knowing the difference between referral fees and “high motor insurance costs for young drivers.”

Speaking as a so-called “news”letter that gets things hopelessly mixed up week after week after week, Bankstone News can’t help feeling some sympathy for the hapless accused. But the ABI is in no mood for leniency and lays into the TSC with a rip-roaring vengeance:

“Having failed to back the industry’s campaign to ban referral fees in its last report,” an ABI spokesperson sneered contemptuously, the committee “is still suggesting that making them [i.e. referral fees] more transparent rather than banning them will make any difference.”

In what amounts to the merest tweaking of fact, the ABI claimed that “the insurance industry [*] has been highlighting consistently for the last 18 months that only by banning referral fees across the board and tackling high fixed legal costs will motor insurance premiums start to fall.”

Leaving aside the semantically suspect proposition that motor insurance premiums are in a position to ban anything, surely no one could seriously demur at the ABI’s damning assessment of young people today, who clearly have only themselves to blame if they have to pay vast sums for their compulsory motor insurance.

“The reason our younger drivers pay more for their insurance,” an ABI spokesperson (probably the same one) spelled out patiently, “is that sadly they are much more at risk of being involved in a serious accident which can lead to very expensive personal injury payouts. This is why the ABI is calling for an overhaul in how we teach people to drive.”

“Only by improving the road safety of young drivers will the cost of their motor insurance fall,” the spokeperson claimed in a further lapse into suspect semantics, before expressing the aspiration “we hope the Transport Select Committee will support these measures.”

Perhaps they might have – if you hadn’t just insulted their intelligence so emphatically.

* Less charitable observers may suspect that the ABI is here confusing itself with the insurance industry.


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