ABI outlines effects of IPT increases

With less than a week to go until Insurance Premium Tax (IPT) increases on the 1 November 2015, the Association of British Insurers (ABI) is setting out the key facts about who will be affected by the change.

The standard rate of Insurance Premium Tax – the tax paid each time an insurance policy is purchased in the UK – is rising from 6% to 9.5%.

This change will affect:

  • 7.3 million car policies
  • 4.7 million household policies
  • 3 million pet policies
  • 3 million private medical insurance policies

Any of the affected insurance policies with a start date after 31 October will have IPT charged at the new rate. This is likely to add the following to premiums:

  • Nearly £13 to the average comprehensive motor insurance policy
  • More than £10 to the average combined building and contents cover.
  • More than £10 to average pet insurance
  • More than £40 to average private medical insurance

The Government exempts the following products from IPT:

  • Life insurance
  • Mortgage insurance
  • Insurance for spacecraft
  • Commercial ships and aircraft
  • International railway rolling stock
  • Lifeboats and lifeboat equipment
  • Goods in international transit

Higher rate IPT remains unchanged at 20% and applies to:

  • travel insurance
  • warranties for some mechanical and electrical goods

This means that a family with two cars, a pet and medical insurance is likely to have to pay almost £100 a year more once the increase comes into effect next weekend.

James Dalton, Director of General Insurance Policy at the ABI said, ‘Whether you are a homeowner, driver, own a pet or buy medical insurance, millions of people across the country face being hit in the pocket by this rise in Insurance Premium Tax. Whether it’s a legal requirement or you want to buy extra cover, insurance is a financial safety net, not a luxury.’

‘While insurance remains one of the most competitive industries in the UK, its affordability can’t be taken for granted. Further tax increases must be avoided if insurance is to remain accessible for all.’

According to the Treasury the IPT increase will bring in an additional £8.1bn for the Treasury by 2021. This was the second largest revenue raiser in the Summer Budget.

Insurance Premium Tax was first introduced to the UK in 1994. The rise on 1 November is the 4th increase in the standard rate since its introduction.