WIGANERS pay some of the highest car insurance premiums in the country and some of the highest energy bills according to new research.
A study by Lovemoney.com - a financial advise website - found that five of the borough’s post codes are on a list deemed by car insurance companies to be ‘high risk’ meaning residents pay the highest insurance premiums.
WN1 (Haigh, Ince, Swinley, town centre), WN2 (Abram, Aspull, Bamfurlong, Bickershaw, Haigh, Hindley, Hindley Green, Ince, Platt Bridge), WN3 (Goose Green, Ince, Winstanley, Worsley Mesnes, Hawkley Hall), WN4 (Ashton-in-Makerfield, Garswood) and WN7 (Hope Carr, Landside, Leigh, Low Common, Bedford, Westleigh, Pennington, Higher Folds) are all on the high risk list.
Wiganers also pay some of the country’s highest energy bills, with an average electricity and gas annual bill costing £1,398.
The results have come as no surprise to the MP for Makerfield, Yvonne Fovargue, who has long been campaigning for fairer energy bills and insurance premiums in the borough.
Miss Fovargue said: “It will not come as a surprise to people that there are wide variations in the costs of car insurance and energy bills across the country, caused by a number of factors. I would always stress that it is worth shopping around for the best deal and with a host of comparison websites on the net this is easy to do for most people and can reduce premiums significantly.
“One recent excellent example was the Wigan Council backed initiative to harness the collective purchasing power of thousands of Greater Manchester residents, myself included, who swapped energy providers and realised savings by switching.”
Other areas in the North West that were included on the insurers ‘high risk’ list included post codes in Oldham, Manchester, Stockport and Warrington.
However, while the report appears to be bad news for motorists in the borough, it comes as insurers say the average car insurance preium fell by eight per cent between May and July this year.
A report in The Actuary found that the fall took the average comprehensive premium in the UK to under £700 for the first time since the middle of 2010. This was the sixth consecutive quarter in which prices have fallen, resulting in a 14.9 per cent price reduction in the last year.
Third party, fire and theft prices also fell by 5.2 per cent in the quarter, and by 3.5 per cent in the last year.
The survey found that young drivers benefited most from the last quarter’s decreases, with male drivers aged 17-20 receiving average premium decreases of over 30 per cent in the last 12 months.