In July 2016, UK Prime Minister Theresa May famously announced: “Brexit means Brexit!”
Who knew “Brexit” also meant higher household bills?
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UK comparison website MoneySuperMarket has revealed that key bills, including home insurance, car insurance, and energy bills have shot up by a staggering £2.69 billion for households nationwide since the EU referendum result in June 2016.
The company analysed historic home insurance, car insurance and energy bill data since June 2016 and found the average household is now paying almost £100 (£99.01) more than two years ago across these three categories alone.
Car insurance premiums have experienced a sharp spike, with a particularly significant increase in the 20-24 age bracket, where a fully comprehensive policy has risen 14.8% in less than two years, from £1,018.35 to £1,169.05. Drivers over the age of 65 have also been hit hard with a 13.08% increase, and new drivers between 17 and 19 years old have suffered an 11.77% hike, leaving them £159.19 worse off on average.
The cost of insuring British homes has also increased, according to MoneySuperMarket data. Since June 2016, the average price quoted on a combined buildings and contents policy has increased by 1.3% – rising from £116.91 to £118.43. However, it’s not bad news for all homeowners. Those living in the North East of England, Scotland and the South East have seen premiums drop, with some saving as much as 5.39% on their home insurance.
Energy bills have seen the steepest increase since the EU referendum. The cheapest average annual bill quoted through MoneySuperMarket has increased by more than 10%, from £795.23 to £882.18. This is a UK-wide issue, which is particularly challenging in Scotland where the cheapest bill has shot up by 13.59%, from £763.59 in the summer of 2016 to £867.34 at the end of 2017.
“Whatever you think of Brexit, it can’t be denied that the referendum result has created uncertainty about how the nation’s finances will be affected,” commented Kevin Pratt, consumer affairs expert at MoneySuperMarket. “The reasons behind rising energy prices and insurance premiums are many and complex, and the blame cannot be categorically laid at Brexit’s door. But the climate of economic uncertainty is going to persist for the foreseeable future and may intensify as the deadline for the UK’s departure from the EU draws closer. That will create more unease if households see their basic ‘running costs’ going inexorably upwards thanks to a range of inflationary pressures.
“In times of change, it’s important to get a firm grip on those things that lie within our control, such as household bills. Switching energy supplier and insurance provider are a relatively painless way to side-step price increases and potentially make big savings that will bring some relief to stretched household budgets.”