Recent Motor Insurance Benchmark from Experian, a global information services company, has revealed a 0.3 per cent fall in the average price for online comprehensive motor insurance in UK during October, November and December in 2007, compared to the previous quarter.

A month-on-month review of 2007 revealed that after an initial increase during the first half of the year, the final six months saw the average online comprehensive motor insurance premium become more stable, with the final three months recording a slight dip. The year as a whole recorded a 6.3% increase in the average online price compared to 2006.

Over the second half of 2007, the average broker premium increased at a slightly faster rate than online motor insurance premiums. Although online premiums are still higher than in the broker market, the gap is closing fairly quickly.

The average price for third party, fire and theft motor insurance during quarter four in 2007 continued to emerge as significantly higher than the average comprehensive premium. This is due mainly to the fact that they tend to be related to younger drivers with low or no voluntary excesses. For third party, fire and theft motor insurance in the online market the year as a whole recorded a 2.1% premium reduction compared to 2006.

Avis Easteal, managing director of Experian’s Insurance Services division, said: It appears that the previously rising online premiums were finally leveling out in the second half of 2007. Broker prices may have remained low in order to compete with online prices, but this can only be sustained for so long and prices started to creep back up in 2007. The last six months have revealed a more rapid increase as they attempt to move closer to online levels.