Hard-pressed car owners can expect to find the search for cheap insurance premiums more difficult as premiums resume their upward trend following a brief respite over the previous quarter, according to the latest release of the AA's quarterly British Insurance Premium Index.

At a time when motorists are struggling to meet car running expenses the rising cost of insurance is adding to the burden. The index, which has been tracking industry-wide car and home insurance premiums since 1994, shows that over the three months ending June 2008 more than GBP20 has been added to the average quoted premium for comprehensive car insurance, which now stands at over GBP700.

Young drivers, who typically buy third party, fire and theft insurance and already pay the highest car insurance premiums, are hardest hit because they are the most likely to make a claim. Since the last index in March 2008, more than GBP45 has been piled on to the average premium they can expect to be quoted, which is now GBP884.

One year on from last summer’s disastrous floods, the latest release of the AA’s British Insurance Premium Index has recorded a modest GBP1 rise in the average quoted premium for buildings insurance to GBP209.52, over the quarter ending June 30, 2008. Over the 12 months since July 2007, the average quoted premium rose by 4.3%.

But the most dramatic change is a 22% annual rise in the shoparound index for buildings cover. Since last year’s floods in 2007, the average quoted shoparound premium rose to GBP126.29 from GBP103.60 in July 2007.

The average quoted premium for contents cover rose by just GBP0.12 over the same period to GBP128.69 while for combined buildings and contents policies, the premium rose 2.2% to a few pence under GBP300.

Simon Douglas, director of AA Insurance, said: These findings are not good news for those with third party, fire and theft insurance, typically young drivers struggling to pay their first insurance premiums. But young men aged 21 or under are 10 times more likely to be killed or seriously injured on our roads than those aged 35 or over. The figures speak for themselves: the average insurance claim made by young drivers is nearly four times greater than claims made by drivers aged 30 or over.