Car insurance premiums drop by up to 15 pct

Insurers are reducing car policy premiums by 5 to 15 percent due to the crisis and the strong competition in Greece?s ever-shrinking market.

The new, cheaper rates began to apply as of March, although next month the expanded range of civil liability for cars will apply as well.

Data from the first quarter of the year showed a 7 percent decrease in the number of insured cars, even though vehicle insurance is compulsory. Also, in the last two years some 400,000 vehicle owners have submitted their license plates as they could not afford to keep their cars on the road. As a result, at the end of March, no more than 4.8 million cars were insured.

The reduction in insurance rates has come about thanks to the reduced compensation the sector paid in 2011, which in turn is attributed to the reduced use of cars due to the crisis. Claims amounted to 693 million euros last year, down by 11 percent from the 783 million registered in 2010.