A farm student was left gobsmacked after being quoted more than £9,000 to insure an old Land Rover.
The online quote for £9,311 was sent by insurance giant Aviva to Adam Horsfield, of Great Wilbraham, Cambridgeshire.
The vehicle in question was a 1984 Land Rover 90 he was hoping to buy for £1,000.
Mr Horsfield, who plans to study at Harper Adams after completing his A-levels, described the quote as “unreal”.
He said: “It might just be the case that this particular company doesn’t want to insure young drivers, but still I was quite amazed.”
Other rural drivers have also seen high insurance quotes in recent months.
Norfolk farmer Karen O’Malley said the annual quote from NFU Mutual for her husband’s Land Rover had doubled – despite having eight years no-claims bonus.
Aviva failed to respond to inquiries by Farmers Weekly. But NFU Mutual was more forthcoming.
Pressures on the motor insurance market – including the increased risk of fraudulent claims – were forcing up premiums, said a spokeswoman.
“Farmers are at the heart of our business and we want to help young people get on in farming and rural life. We do insure many drivers under 21 who meet our underwriting criteria.”
Young drivers were involved in many more accidents than older drivers, said the NFU Mutual spokeswoman.
The rural insurer’s own figures showed that drivers under 25 were involved in claims totalling £73m in 2009.
“We are very concerned about the toll on young lives caused by these accidents and are working with farming families safety bodies to try and find ways of improving young drivers’ safety in the countryside.”
The AA British Insurance Premium Index, which measures quotes from more than 50 companies, shows that comprehensive insurance bills rose by a record 40% in the year to 30 March.
The average policy now costs £892.
The AA also blamed high levels of fraud and personal injury claims. Young men were the biggest risk for insurers, it said.
They could expect to pay more than £3,000, with more than half of all firms refusing them cover.
AA Insurance director Simon Douglas said increases in premiums were likely to slow over the coming months.
“Insurers are still making losses, although the large underwriting of deficits from 2009 have probably now been halved.”
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