Leeds & West Yorkshire

Bradford MP David Ward criticises cost of car insurance

A Bradford MP claims car insurance premiums are so high in some parts of the city that people can no longer afford to drive.

David Ward, Liberal Democrat MP for Bradford East, said some of his constituents had been quoted over £20,000 for basic car insurance.

Mr Ward is to hold a summit in Bradford on Tuesday to examine the problem.

Mr Ward said: "In this part of Bradford, it's a more serious issue than elsewhere. It can't go on."

An online petition set up by Mr Ward which calls for more affordable insurance, tougher policing of uninsured drivers and tighter regulation of claims companies has so far attracted more than 560 supporters.

Mr Ward said: "There isn't one cause and there isn't going to be one solution, but the cost of each claim is going up and up."

'Bradford blacklisted'

Bradford woman Leah Greaves, 20, who has just passed her driving test, said she was finding it difficult to get an affordable quote for her Vauxhall Corsa and was being offered quotes of £7,000 to £8,000.

Ms Greaves said the Gocompare website had even come up with a quote of £53,000.

However, in a statement, the firm said: "Gocompare do not display prices above £12,000 on their website as they feel that showing such high premiums would not be helpful to customers.

"It is possible that an insurance company could provide a quote in this region but it would not be displayed at Gocompare.com."

Members of the Bradford Hackney Carriage Owners and Drivers Association said they supported Mr Ward's campaign and would be attending the MP's summit.

Association member Shabir Munir said some drivers had found it "impossible" to continue running a cab and had handed back their licences.

He said: "The first thing the insurers say is that Bradford is blacklisted.

"They claim to have raised insurance by 20% to 30% when, in fact, it's more than 100%."

Malcolm Tarling, from the Association of British Insurers, said high premiums were an issue throughout the country, not just in Bradford.

However, Mr Tarling said the insurance industry was changing.

"If we can regulate, as we're trying to, legal costs and continue to cut fraud and reduce the number of uninsured drivers then premiums will start to fall."

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