Car Insurers Have Saved 189 Million Pounds in South East England During Covid-19 Lockdown

£ 189,127,463

…is the estimated amount of savings on payouts realized by the UK car insurance companies in South East England during Covid-19 lockdown, as drivers stayed home between 23 March and 31 May.

Claims drop during lockdown


Cost of claims in a “normal” 77-days period


Car insurers’ savings during lockdown


South East England big numbers

drop in car claims

…across South East England

million pounds saved

…by car insurers only in the Brighton metropolitan area.

average decrease

…of annual insurance car premiums

74% drop in car-related claims

With the UK locked down from the 23rd of March, most English citizens were forced to stay at home. As a consequence, daily commutes came to a halt, meaning fewer people on the roads, and a lower probability of accidents occurring. With a 74% drop in car-related claims, South East England ranks as the third UK region where the average claims decrease rate have been the highest, just behind Greater London (82%) and the West Midlands (76%)

Overall, insurance companies in South East England could have actually saved up to £189.1 millions thanks to the change in driving habits caused by lockdown measures.

  • The South East English metropolitan area accounting for the highest savings is Brighton, with a £16 million reduction in payouts by the insurers. The city of Southampton ranks number 2, with almost £5.6 million saved by the insurers.
  • Usually, motor insurers put aside ⅔ of premiums to cover road accidents. However, the reduction in the number of accidents has cut that  proportion significantly. One big car insurance player expects it will save as much as half the funds it expected to have to pay out for personal injury claims in 2020.

Will customers receive their money back?

With the savings made while South East England was locked down, the big insurance companies decided to reduce the premiums for their customers. That is why it has been observed in the region an average £55.3 annual price reduction on car premiums per customer. Indeed, the average annual premium was £688 as for March 2020, and has gone down to £632.7 at the beginning of June – which represents an 8% decrease in prices for the South East English drivers.

Admiral was the first car insurance company in the UK to announce a £180 million spending including a fixed £25 refund to each of its car and van insurance customers – which could represent a £24.1 millions refunds sum for the clients from South East England. Others are planning on refunding only customers that were affected by the pandemic, such as the unemployed or people placed on a government furlough scheme by their employer. 


Antoine Fruchard, insurance expert and CEO at

Because South East England is one of the most populated regions of the United Kingdom, we could observe that the car insurance industry saved there a lot of money during the lockdown. For example, in a small land like the Isle of Whight, those savings accounts for about £3 million during the whole period, which is a lot. Now that the lockdown is over, the number of cars on the road could soon be back at pre-Covid levels. It is likely that customers will question why they continued to pay such high insurance premiums while they weren’t able to drive. While some insurance companies have already made refunds, it has been observed a £55.3 average decrease in car premiums in South East England between March and June, which proves that the competition is hard between the major motor insurers”.

Our methodology

We based our study on public information provided by reliable data-providers – such as the ABI, Which, Willis Tower Watson and Money Wise – and 18 European insurance partners who provided us anonymously with claims for the period from the 23rd of March to the 31st May. 545,560 policy holders from all the UK regions have been taken into account. For further information on our editorial guidelines please click here.

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