Car insurance premiums fell in the three months to the end of September but the cost of home cover increased over the same period, the AA said today.
According to the motoring organisation's latest Shoparound index, the average cost of the cheapest premiums bought directly from an insurer fell by 2.9% to £844. Prices for insurance bought via price comparison sites also fell by 1% to £612.
Despite the fall, prices for directly purchased insurance still rose by 5.6% over the 12 months to the end of September, while those offered by price comparison sites fell by an average of 2.3%.
Simon Douglas, director of AA Insurance, explained that tough competition was forcing insurers to drop prices, even though costs were showing no sign of falling. In particular, the AA highlighted research by the Institute and Faculty Of Actuaries which showed an increase in whiplash claims was costing insurers an estimated £400m a year.
Douglas said: 'Motor insurance has been a focus of government attention for some time and next year new legal reforms are expected to reduce the cost of personal injury claims and fraud.
'Whiplash injury claims continue to pour in and under current legislation, they are difficult for insurers to reject, even if they think they may be fraudulent, because it is difficult to prove whether or not a claimant has suffered.'
But he added: 'The days of "open season" for fraudulent injury claims, cash for crash and similar scams are numbered.'
After two years of sustained price increases, the AA found that young driver premiums fell over the third quarter - down by 0.7% to £1,603 for men aged 17-22 and down by 2.2% to £1,127 for young women.
The AA noted, however, that legal changes which will require gender neutral insurance pricing from December 21could see premiums for young female drivers rise by up to 25%. Douglas added: 'We may now have gender equality, but that doesn't mean it is fair.'
Prices for home insurance on the AA's index show a 2.4% increase over the three months to the end of September - up 5.2% over the past 12 months - while contents cover rose by 1% to £242 - a 7.2% increase over the past 12 months.
Douglas noted that the increases came after a summer of storms and flooding and called on the insurance industry and government to reach agreement on a new deal guaranteeing affordable cover for homeowners at risk of flooding.