Rising personal injury claims and the Government's decision to allow hospitals to charge insurers for the cost of treating road accident victims have also driven up the cost of claims. During the last year, Norwich Union has increased its fleet premiums by 28% compared to 14% for private drivers and warns that worse is to come. Marketing director Derek Plummer said: 'We are now saying that enough is enough and, for fleets, future increases will be between 15% and 20%. And while we would never take a fleet off the road by refusing to insure it, the poor performers will get the highest increases.'
A spokesman for Royal & SunAlliance said it had 'forced through' premium increases by an average of 13% and by up to 17% for its 13,000 fleet customers. 'They are accepting them because they know this is an industry-wide phenomenon. Fleets with the worst accident records will be hit the hardest and we are prepared to lose their business and they will have to look elsewhere.'