Top Cities for Traffic Collisions and Their Insurance Rates

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CRIF's new analysis identifies the highest and lowest risk areas for car collision risks in England and Wales, and how insurance costs vary

New analysis from CRIF, Europe’s leading provider of risk management solutions for the financial services industry, reveals the areas across England and Wales with the highest and lowest risk of traffic collisions, and how this impacts insurance premiums.

The findings, derived from CRIF’s Traffic Exposure Score service, show a stark contrast in collision risks between different regions. Drivers in Oldham, Birmingham, and Luton are significantly more likely to experience a traffic collision than those in other parts of the UK. Oldham, located in Greater Manchester, stands out with a 35% higher chance of collisions, which naturally leads to a greater number of car insurance claims. This risk level is 11% higher than Birmingham, the second most collision-prone area on the list.

On the other end of the spectrum, drivers in Shrewsbury, Shropshire, enjoy a much safer driving environment. The data indicates that they are 38% less likely to be involved in a traffic collision, which reduces their chances of filing an insurance claim. Other towns such as Southport, York, Chester, and Worcester also exhibit lower collision risks, contributing to potentially lower insurance premiums for their residents.

Chart of towns and cities and their risks of collision

The impact of these findings on insurance premiums is significant. Areas with higher collision risks see increased insurance costs as insurers adjust premiums to reflect the greater likelihood of claims. Conversely, in regions with lower collision risks, premiums tend to be more affordable due to the reduced chance of accidents.

CRIF’s Traffic Exposure Score service, recently launched in the UK, leverages a wide range of data sources to provide insurers with detailed insights into potential risks. This granular approach helps insurers to set more accurate premiums by taking into account various factors that contribute to road collisions. These factors include the proximity to bus stops, tube stations, train stations, motorway junctions, speed cameras, and built-up areas.

As insurance costs have risen by 46% in the past year alone, according to the Association of British Insurers (ABI), the ability to accurately assess and price risk is more important than ever. By utilising the Traffic Exposure Score, insurers can develop a more precise understanding of the risks associated with specific areas. This not only helps to reduce costs for certain drivers but also ensures that premiums are fairer and more reflective of actual risk levels.

Sara Costantini, CRIF’s Regional Director for the UK & Ireland, emphasises the importance of these insights: "Our research paints a clear picture of where drivers are more likely to experience a traffic collision. Motorists in areas like Oldham, Birmingham, and Luton face the highest risks, while towns like Shrewsbury, Southport, and York offer some of the safest roads in England and Wales. However, this doesn’t always translate into tailored premiums. With the cost of insurance skyrocketing, it’s crucial for insurers to use as much granular data as possible to create a more precise assessment of our roads and offer fairer premiums for motorists."

The Traffic Exposure Score service requires only a postcode to provide a detailed geographical risk score, ranging from 1 to 14, with higher numbers indicating higher risk. By considering factors such as traffic-related points of interest, socio-demographic profiles, and the nature of the area, insurers can better understand and price the risk, potentially reducing their loss ratio by 1.5% to 2.5%.

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