The standard rate of Insurance Premium Tax - the tax paid each time an insurance policy is purchased in the UK – rose from 6% to 9.5% on the 1st November 2015.
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.
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.
- From 1 October 1994, a single rate of 2.5% was charged
- 1 April 1997: increased to 4%
- 1 July 1999: increased to 5%
- 4 January 2011: increased to 6%
- 1 November 2015: increased to 9.5%
*This is according to HMRC’s own figures summarising the impact of the move
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