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We know anyone in the insurance business?

Insurers are facing rising costs for vehicle repairs, which are eating into profits. According to the Association of British Insurers (ABI), vehicle repair costs rose 33pc over the first quarter of 2023 compared to 2022, helping to push annual premiums to record highs.

Electric cars can be particularly expensive to repair, costing around a quarter more to fix on average, compared to a petrol or diesel vehicle, according to Thatcham Research, the motor industry’s research centre.

Particular worries surround the batteries, which are commonly mounted on the floor of the vehicle. This placement can make it more likely that it will be damaged even in a minor accident such as mounting a kerb.

Insurers have had a sepcific problem with unexpected inflation. They set the premiums before the inflation, by the time the repair bills came in hte inflation had happened. 10 or 12% sorts of numbers – that’ll kill a profit margin.

On the other hand interest rates are up so the profits from the float are too. Not wholly balancing but not, overall, an entire disaster.

But insuring EVs. I’ve seen stories that insurers are wanting £5,000 a year in insure one. Is that about right? Or is that an extreme being quoted for effect? The point being that it wouldn’t take much of a rise in insurance costs to entirely negate any fuel savings….

42 thoughts on “We know anyone in the insurance business?”

  1. As I understand it, the rates have increased because of the effective impossibility of repairing a damaged battery: which is a high proportion of the car cost

  2. The whole accident repair thing is an utter scam. If you want to have a repair done privately the cost is a fraction of what the insurance company will be made to pay. I have a feeling that somehow the insurance companies are in on the scam – its blatantly obvious they are being scammed for higher costs, but they do nothing about it – this tells me they must be getting kickbacks somehow.

  3. Always a bit difficult to separate individual pricing of insurance from broader market experience, but anecdotally I’m paying just over £1000 to cover a Tesla Model 3 (and <£500 for a petrol BMW 4 Series). There are obviously a lot more expensive EVs out there, so who knows on insuring those.

    Two additional points though – EV batteries are not just ‘mounted low down’, they’re often structural too. And with their tendency to cascading failure when damaged, you can see why insurance companies might not like them too much…

    The other thing is more technical (and it’s a long time since I worked on this stuff, so it may well have changed) – when quoting for insurance through comparison sites, insurance companies used to get penalised if they declined to quote. So returning a ridiculous number (like £5000/year…?) was better than a flat ‘no’ (which would generally be reserved for coverage in certain post codes – definitely not Bradford or Luton ones, of course – and such).

  4. The Daily Sceptic (quoting the guardian) had a piece yesterday on the premiums for EVs. I wonder how close the correlation is between EV owners and those who have been vaxxed and boostered. My own observation is that folk who fall for one government scam tend to buy them wholesale.

  5. Bloke in North Dorset

    I wonder how close the correlation is between EV owners and those who have been vaxxed and boostered. My own observation is that folk who fall for one government scam tend to buy them wholesale.

    In my case correlation = 0.

    Fully vaxxed and due a boost on Saturday but no way will I be buying an EV and to add to that I’m currently in the process of telling my electricity provider that I don’t want one of their new meters.

  6. Bloke near Worcester

    I am like BiND, my correlation is also zero, but ‘tother way round:

    Tesla owner = Y
    Vaxxed and Boosted = N

    (Although I have also just told them where to stuff their ‘smart’ meter)

  7. No idea about EV car insurance but if its any reassurance to BiND and BnW, I had a smart meter installed (as part of the contract I switched to). It was able to send back readings for the remainder of the contract but as soon as I changed supplier again it reverted to being as smart as a bag of rocks and continues to be so. The software is shit, the hardware is shit. I suspect the the power companies are using the cheapest possible “smart” components to meet the govt regs.

    I seriously doubt anyone is even going to try to use this technology for any sort of power consumption management. Chalk smart meters up as another “in theory it could work” idea.

  8. I’m minded the entire car repair thing is an utter scam.
    The dear beloved blew the top hose on her car one night last week & it was towed to a local repairer on the recovery insurance. They initially quoted 1000 euros for a repair but the intervention of an aggressive & lary Englishman gave them pause for thought. She eventually parted with 335€ consisting of 84 for the part, 3 hours labour & 50 for connecting it to the diagnostic to reset the fault warning. Plus the inevitable IVA (VAT). I could change a top hose on that car in 5 minutes wearing a business suit without taking the jacket off & a top hose is 3:25€. But, of course, disputing the bill means you don’t get your car back, do you?

  9. Somewhere recently I’ve seen that John Lewis is, for the time being, refusing to insure EVs.

    Separate point: photos of flooding in NYC after downpours – what happens to your Tesla if it’s caught in a flood or (even worse?) caught in an underground car park during a flood?

  10. @BIND
    You seem a nice chap, so I beg you to read up on the vaccines. At least, get the fact sheet in writing from the clinic and keep a note of the batch number. That way, your widow might stand a chance of getting some compo.

  11. Here’s a question. Have the actual excess death rates in countries didn’t have widespread vaccination been markedly higher than those that did?

  12. Or is it too soon to know? One’s obviously going to get a degree of earlier mortalities from the effects of Covid in developing & underdeveloped nations as the marginally viable succumb. But that should be balanced by them not being available to die in the period following.

  13. Bloke in North Dorset

    Thanks for the concern. I follow Norman Fenton and NoTrickZone. I’ve also listened to an actuary who’s looked in to it and on balance I’m comfortable with my decision. Maybe if I 40 years younger maybe I’d look at it differently.

  14. Dennis: Oppressor, Warmonger, Capitalist and Consumer of Petroleum Products

    EV batteries cannot, for all intents and purposes, be repaired. They must be replaced. The last time I looked, the replacement cost of a Tesla battery is somewhere near $30,000. That’s a problem for insurers, and it has spurred Tesla to start the development of modular batteries. How well that solves the problem is anyone’s guess at this point.

  15. 50 for connecting it to the diagnostic to reset the fault warning

    Or you could buy a reader from Amazon for £20.
    (Other vendors no doubt available)

    Reset it yourself. And then in the future, if the warning lights come on, you can see what it says yourself, instead of having to pay silly money for a garage to look at it. And allows you to know what’s wrong instead of the garage wasting time looking for problems.

  16. EVs are both more expensive to replace (in a write-off) than a comparable ICE car, and also (in many cases) very high performance, potentially as fast to 100kph as a Ferrari or Lambo. Of course insurers are going to charge high premiums.

  17. Just because there are high quotes doesn’t mean you have to pay them. One of my cars is a BMW M140i, a 3.0 litre turbo rear-wheel drive hot hatch. Comparison sites always have quotes in the multiple thousands toward the bottom of the page, and I’m a low-risk driver in a low-risk area. Some insurers just don’t want to cover anything remotely spicy so put forward silly quotes.

    Over the last decade or so I’ve tended to go with a broker for anything with more than 4 cylinders (shout out to Chris Knott, who have always been great) and every single time they’ve managed to come in under £500. So “news” I get quotes for £3-4,000 but I never take them up.

    A Tesla model 3 performance is quite a bit quicker than my baby beemer, and if it’s the Gruaniad then it’s going to be a London postcode, so those numbers can easily go up quite a bit.

  18. Bloke in North Dorset

    Thanks Jim, but as long as actuaries keep reporting excess deaths higher in the unvaxxed and lower in the vaxxed than expected I’ll go with the vax.

  19. BiND – Interesting. I’ve not seen any reports along those lines – do you have a link you could share? I’ve only seen stuff that points the other way going back to health insurers in Germany going back 18 months or so and this based on claims (thus serious adverse events not deaths) rather than actuarial models.

    I imagine that reality will feed its way into new life policies in the same way that EV cover is becoming costlier.

  20. Bloke in North Dorset


    It was on More or Less, I’ve asked them for the research.

    I also take the view that if all these problems I keep getting links for are only half right we’d be seeing a lot more deaths by now given the size of the population that is vaccinated.

  21. @Jim

    That paper is of little relevance as it is comparing the wrong things. It needs to compare vaccinated people with those who have had the disease.

    For example, if you were faced with a disease that killed 50% of those infected, and you were highly likely to be infected, you would be rational to use a vaccine which killed 5% of patients. We know that Covid causes heart problems, so it is still rational to get vaccinated as long as the (very rare) heart problems caused by vaccination are better than the problems from getting the disease while unvaccinated. And any such study would need to avoid survivorship bias caused by the disease killing some people.

  22. Re: EV insurance costs

    Don’t discuss this topic as “those EV owners will be paying more.” Everyone who drives will be paying these new rates.

    Say you bump into an EV while driving your cheap ICE car. You are responsible for all damages done to that EV. Since the batteries are structural, and easily damaged – and since you really don’t know if they’re damaged until they burst into flames – your insurance is going to be footing that $20-$30k bill.

    As EV’s proliferate, there will be a higher and higher chance that your little bump-accidents will involve an EV. Your own insurance rates are going to start rising to cover those minor accidents that now cost more than your ICE vehicle cost new.

  23. “so it is still rational to get vaccinated as long as the (very rare) heart problems caused by vaccination are better than the problems from getting the disease while unvaccinated.”

    Those studies are increasingly coming in, as I mentioned in the other thread – they are *not rare*. And then add to that: one also gets Covid when vaccinated, which further muddies your assertion.

  24. Insurance hugely up on non-EVs too due to risk of huge cost if to blame for RTA with EV

    Cheap green my ar5e

    Before you take NHS Autumn Death Booster read this:

    Prof Angus Dalgleish

    See also

    CDC: Covid booster jabs for everyone aged over 6 months
    . . . “Safe and Effective” nowhere to be found

    CDC Figures per 1 million booster jabs (18 – 49 yo)
    .. Maybe Prevent ~75 Covid hospitalations & 6 deaths
    .. Will Cause 1,500 – 2,700 severe adverse event hospitalations & ??? deaths
    .. Each jab costs $130 + admin, jab staff costs

    Excess Mortality in jabbed is 2-3 times higher than unjabbed. Even in over 80s latest ONS data shows mortality in jabbed much higher than unjabbed

    Dead man “Hey, take the jab, I didn’t die from Covid, it was cardio-vascular, liver, kidney, spleen, rapid onset cancer…”

    In Dec 2020 I spent ~20 mins reading “Vaccine” MHRA and MSDSs. I was optimistic. That rapidly changed as it was clear it didn’t stop infection, transmission; would cause asymptomatic transmission (typhoid Marys), not safe for many… Might, yes might, reduce hospital, death…

    Conclusion: Poison drug. Just Say No

    Open your eyes

    Re Top Hose – two jubilee clips

    Common sence, basic DIY and trust in oneself is valuable

    For hoses, pipes a roll of self amalgamating tape is quick temp fix

    @Chernyy Drakon, October 1, 2023 at 4:04 pm


    Guy searched many sites and insurers, £4.5k plus £500 for monthly payment was cheapest

  25. Confirms what I’ve been thinking: Gov’t intervention, taxpayer subsidies, no free market

    We’ll all pay the price of soaring EV insurance – October 3, 2023

    You might think: ‘Why should I care since I don’t drive an EV?’ Well, when the politicians see that high insurance costs are putting people off buying the EV which they are determined to push on us, they’ll yet again attack petrol and diesel car owners

    I predict that charging EV drivers more than ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) drivers, will also be outlawed

  26. Have the actuaries kept up with the work by independent people O/L that shows how much the figures were distorted by misclassifying as unvaxxed people who were, in fact, vaxxed? The scale of the error is large enough to destroy claims for vaxx efficacy.

    If they ain’t effective then all the extra risk of vaccination is uncompensated by any benefit. And that extra risk seems to be nasty especially (so far) for young males. (Ironically, if healthy they were anyway at effectively zero risk from Covid.)

    What a bloody disaster. And there’s no reason yet to think that the damage caused by the vaccine will dwindle as time passes, except insofar as the victims will die off early.

    What seems to me conclusive is this. Some obviously intelligent, numerate chap online analyses data available to him. He shows that it’s probable that the vaxx is ineffective and damaging. He comments that he could be entirely sure if only the government (of whichever country) would publish certain data that they currently withhold.

    They never do respond to his invitation to publish that data. You’d have to be dreadfully gullible not to see that the O/L johnnies are right and governments are hiding the facts.

    I notice a further response: whistleblowers have been releasing chunks of data big enough to draw statistically sound lessons from. People have been getting some data by using the courts and FOI requests. So the data are there – it really is a case of government cover-up. Nobody covers up his own innocence.

  27. I predict that charging EV drivers more than ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) drivers, will also be outlawed

    That’s easy to work round.
    The insurers will just base it on a vehicles value and performance.
    Since electric cars go like the clappers, they’ll still be more expensive to insure.

  28. Bloke in North Dorset

    Tim’s spam filter is set to bear trap so I’m going to do three comments:

    For those quoting John Campbell’s recent video on vaccine deaths:

    John Campbell, a YouTuber whose posts get millions of views, has made claims about excess deaths and the covid-19 vaccine. We show why he’s incorrect.
    Not only that when challenged he took the video down saying he wasn’t qualified to understand the numbers.

    Its the first article but for those who don’t want to listen whoever put those numbers together used the wrong datasets from the ONS .


  29. BiND

    I highlighted that particular error on here a few days back! Campbell’s great at pointing stuff out but in this case there was a blindingly obvious numbers sense check he failed to carry out before reporting on that one (you could see it in the 1st two minutes of his clip, it screamed out)…

  30. Bloke in North Dorset


    Sorry I missed that, but its nice to see it laid out. I’m still trying to get the 3rd one posted but the spam blocker has had enough.

  31. BiND

    “nice to see it laid out”

    Agreed. I only mentioned it because, when I saw your post, I was bemused it’s taken the “more mainstream” so long to pick up on it. Some of his on-line commenters (he has thousands for each video) could easily have alerted him at the time.

  32. Wish I could follow the links in that (I can’t access the BBC) – to see if they are still making that basic earlier ONS error of materially miscounting the unvaccinated (use an accurate vaxxed total and then derive unvaxxed from an understated population total minus accurate vaxxed, ie understate the unvaxxed denominator…) and hence materially overstating unvaccinated issues?

  33. Bloke in North Dorset

    This is the whole twitter thread without charts, source links, and acknowledgements.

    John Campbell shared a video with his 2.9 million followers with claims of over 150,000 excess deaths compared to if no-one was vaccinated.
    In the video John repeated and endorsed incorrect claims made in an anonymous blog by “the nobody who knows everybody” that there have been over 150,000 excess deaths as a result of people getting vaccinated.

    Here is how and why we can be certain this is completely false.
    The claims in the blog:
    1. Death rates lower for unvaccinated than vaccinated ❌
    2. If no-one vaccinated there’d have been under 340,000 deaths in a year in England ❌
    3. There were actually 490,000 deaths that year ❌
    4. So over 150,000 excess deaths due to vaccines. ❌
    Let’s go through the claims one by one.

    1. ONS data clearly shows that death rates are lower among vaccinated people than unvaccinated. This chart shows age-standardised death rates from all causes.

    2. The claim that if no-one was vaccinated there’d have been under 340,000 deaths in England in a 12 month period is incredible! Anyone with relevant expertise should know straight away that this must be false.

    There have been over 450,00 deaths a year for the last 25 years!
    In fact, we can go back further… much further.

    You would have to go back to the 1840s, when the population of England was much smaller, so see so few deaths in one year! If it wasn’t so serious these claims endorsed by John Campbell would be laughable.

    3. The claim that there were actually 490,000 deaths in England is also wrong. Actually there were 560,000 deaths in the 12-month period in question. This should probably have been John’s first clue that there was an error in the analysis.

    4. With so many errors in the analysis, it follows that the claim of 150,000 more deaths is obviously very wrong.

    In fact we’d have see far fewer deaths if everyone had the same death rates as vaccinated people.
    So how did they get it so wrong?

    The author of the blog has stitched together 2 data sources:
    a) ONS deaths by vaccine status
    b) Vaccine take-up data from UKHSA

    This was entirely unnecessary as the ONS data has all the information needed. It is also statistically flawed.
    The biggest point that has been missed is that the deaths used are not for the whole population. They are actually for a subset of people who were on the 2021 Census and could be linked to an NHS number.

    This included 93% of vaccinated deaths but only 68% of unvaccinated deaths.
    So they are calculating unvaccinated death rates based on only two-thirds of the deaths. They are then dividing by an unvaccinated population which is too large, as it includes people registered at multiple addresses, or who have left the country.
    When John Campbell describes the stitching together of the data as “a really clever way to look at this” he is completely wrong.

    This statistical bodge job gives estimated death rates for unvaccinated people which are about half what they should be.
    Thank you to
    and others who debunked this claims on various platforms before today’s show was broadcast.

    More great peer review from around the world!

    Another day, another viral post sharing vaccine misinformation. Has @tniwef really discovered “proof of a mRNA Disaster!” Unsurprisingly, that’s a firm “No!” Can you see what they did wrong?

    Let’s zoom in on that graph. It shows that the % of all cause deaths from vaccinated people aged 18plus is: 1. Higher than the % of all cause deaths from unvaccinated people 2. Higher than the % of people aged 18 plus who have been vaccinated. Should this concern us? No! 2/n

    The first point can be easily dismissed. More than 9 out of 10 UK adults has been vaccinated. So of course more of the deaths are from vaccinated people! So far so obvious, but to be fair this one wasn’t the focus of the claim. 3/n

    ONS deaths data has been released for week ending 31 Mar. 2,004 more deaths were recorded in-week compared to 5-year avg. That’s 21% more, a large excess but partly due to Easter distorting 5yr avg. Year-to-date there have been 171,600 deaths recorded, 8% above the 5-year avg.

    There were 634 deaths registered in England and Wales this week where COVID was mentioned on the death certificate. That’s higher than last week (624). 68% of deaths with COVID mentioned on the death certificate had it listed as underlying cause.
    That’s another concerning excess. On the face of it, it’s the largest excess this year, but as noted above it is inflated a bit by because some years in the 5yr avg had a Bank Hol this reported week. Looking past this though it’s clear that deaths are high for the time of year.

    An important new report from my @LCP_Actuaries colleagues shows that most of the increase in the number of economically inactive people during the pandemic can be explained by long term sickness. This runs counter to the “great retirement” narrative.

    In fact the number of working age retirees is lower now than before the pandemic.
    The increase in long term sickness seems to be due to more people progressing from short term to long term sickness. This may reflect NHS pressures, with less ability to treat and manage chronic conditions.

    ONS deaths data has been released for week ending 3 Feb. 186 more deaths were recorded in-week compared to the 5-year average. That’s 1% more, i.e. death counts similar to the average. Year-to-date there have been 75,717 deaths recorded, 10% more than the 5-year average.

    There were 499 deaths registered in England and Wales this week where COVID was mentioned on the death certificate. That’s the lowest so far this year. 67% of deaths with COVID mentioned on the death certificate had it listed as underlying cause.
    Like last week, I expect CMI age-standardised analysis will show a larger excess when results are released later today. CMI baseline is lower than ONS at the start of the year as the average includes the second wave in early 2021. More on baseline here:…

    ONS deaths data has been released for week ending 13 Jan. 2,837 more deaths were recorded in-week compared to the 5-year average. That’s 20% more – another significant excess. Year-to-date there have been 32,364 deaths recorded, 17% more than the 5-year average.

    There were 922 deaths in England and Wales this week where COVID was mentioned on the death certificate. That’s the we’ve seen in one week since last April. 71% of deaths with COVID mentioned on the death certificate had it listed as underlying cause.
    The first full week of the year (no Bank Holidays) is usually the one in which we see the most death registrations. But even with that context, 17,381 is very high. Only eight weeks since 2010 had more death registered and they were all in either the first or second COVID waves.

    ONS deaths data has been released for week ending 23 Dec. 2,982 more deaths were recorded in-week compared to the 2015-19 average. That’s 26% more, the largest excess we’ve seen all year. Year-to-date there have been 567,379 deaths recorded which is 8% more than 2015-19 avg.

    There were 429 deaths in England and Wales this week where COVID was mentioned on the death certificate. The number of COVID deaths increased each week through December. 72% of deaths with COVID mentioned on the death certificate had it listed as underlying cause.
    Deaths data was also released today for the previous week (ending 16 Dec). This showed 1,639 more deaths compared to the 2015-19 average. That’s 15% more, also a bigger excess than we had been seeing.

  34. BiND

    That’s great, many thanks!

    1) That’s the old ONS error, getting the unvaccinated denominator wrong. Various people pointed that out a while back. If their unvaxxed numbers had been correct, it would have implied that the vaccine cured heart attacks, cancer, etc. Ie, *non-Covid* deaths (they split out from Covid deaths) were something like twice as high in the unvaxxed as the vaxxed in places, which was clearly nonsense – the vaccines don’t cure things like cancer!).

    2) Yep, that was the obvious sense check error that Campbell should have spotted instantly!

    3) & 4) are relatively inconsequential, given 2).

    He alludes to the error in 1) further down, though no idea how he comes up with such exact numbers to correct that error. If the precise correction was that obvious/clear cut, you’d like to think the ONS might have corrected it pretty quickly back at the time.

    The rest of it on excess deaths I’m less interested in at the moment. For me that’s a longer term “watch and observe”.

  35. I’m late to this vaxxed/unvaxxed but I work in annuities. Our actuarial experts under pressure (and it’s my job to put their statements under pressure) admit they don’t know one way or another but we do know more people are dying than before after adjusting for confounding factors. We can’t tell whether they are vaccinated/boosted/unvaxxed as the data that we get isn’t to that level. We record dead/alive and know postcodes, age, sex.

    The vaxxed/unvaxxed has a lot of confounding factors. We did see at one point in the vaccination cycle a relative boost to the longevity of unvaccinated people. That clearly shouldn’t happen as they should be two separate groups, if the data is robust, unless of course the unhealthy were getting vaccinated and then leaving the healthy to their regular fates. The results are sensitive to the definition of ‘vaccinated’ and the point after vaccination in which you move someone from one group to another. Again that’s … unusual but in line with vaccination giving protection, but the effect is too large given the chances of people actually catching the thing they are supposed to be protected against in that small window.

    So basically there is no clear answer, except don’t have AstraZeneca’s life saving COVID vaccine as it’s been banned as being too dangerous.

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