Sainsbury's Bank has launched its Car Insurance Index to track market premiums on a quarterly basis. The retailer hopes the index will highlight the disparities in premiums charged by car insurers and encourage motorists to shop around.

Sainsbury’s has initiated the Car Insurance Index in the follow up to undertaking an advertising campaign to support its motor insurance product.

The initial findings from the index reveal that the average car insurance premium for the period November 2004 to April 2005 was GBP458.92. This compared to GBP512.06 for the 25% most expensive insurers and GBP403.51 for the 25% most competitive, which included Sainsbury’s Bank.

If all motorists were insured with the most competitive 25% insurers, collectively they could save up to GBP1.17 billion in premiums a year, the index revealed. It also indicated that women pay around GBP92 less on average for car insurance than men.

The car insurance industry is very competitive, which is good news for motorists as they can save a lot of money by shopping around, said Joanne Mallon, car insurance manager at Sainsbury’s Bank, Sadly, despite this, one in five motorists obtains only one quote when they buy car insurance.

Sainsbury’s car insurance marketing campaign broke on June 6, 2005 with a TV advertising campaign, in-store promotions, direct marketing and digital marketing activity using animated character, Little Bill.