Insurance Groups

A new insurance group system has just been launched which is claimed to make premiums more accurate.

The previous 1-25 groupings have been ditched and replaced by a 1-50 rating system - although in most cases premiums will remain roughly on a par.

Thatcham, the motor insurance repair research centre, is behind the new groups and explains that the old 1-25 bandings were too narrow to reflect the true cost of repairing certain models, especially more niche cars such as small people carriers and off-roaders. Now, the revised 1-50 groups will more accurately reflect how much a car costs to repair following an accident.

Most cars will see their insurance group roughly double (N.B. that does not mean the cost). For example, a Ford Fiesta 1.6 TDCi ECOnetic three-door hatchback goes from group 5 to group 11.

According to Thatcham, as a general rule if the group has roughly doubled then premiums will not change drastically. If the change is more than double, your car could cost more in premiums, and less than double means insurance will probably be cheaper.

The new groupings went live on January 1 2010 following a two-year period when insurers were introducing them alongside the old system.