A key part of the Thatcham’s work is the administration of the Association of British Insurer’s (ABI) Group Rating system. Group Rating is an advisory system intended to provide insurers with the relative risk of private cars and light commercial vehicles.
Thatcham take into account information derived from the assessment of a vehicle, including the ease of vehicle repair and the level of security. Thatcham provide the ABI Group Rating Panel with 70% of the information used to establish the insurance group of every private motor car registered in the UK.
To find out your vehicle's insurance grouping as well as a wealth of other ratings information from Thatcham, please visit our 'My Vehicle' page.
The Group Rating Panel is comprised from members of the Association of British Insurers (ABI) and Lloyds Market Association (LMA). The members meet monthly to set advisory motor insurance group ratings for new passenger cars in the UK. Thatcham plays an integral role in the Group Rating Process, carrying out the administration of the group rating scheme for private cars and light commercial vehicles and also providing the technical information used by the Group Rating Panel. Thatcham hosts the list of group ratings on their website on behalf of the ABI.
In 2009, the number of insurance groups was expanded from a 1-20 system to a 1-50 system. This move to 50 groups means that each model of car can be more accurately banded with cars of similar characteristics and therefore create a more precise Group Rating System.
The Group Rating System itself relies on the internationally recognised insurance standard 15 km/h impact. Thatcham’s engineers then determine the cost of times and parts to return it to its pre-accident condition. The times provided, utilise the Thatcham Times System (TTS) philosophy and are accepted by the industry as standard for vehicle repair. A vehicle’s rating is also determined by a number of other factors. When considering a vehicle’s rating, the panel assess the new car price, reflecting variations in trim level and the cost of settlement in the event of a ‘total loss.’ The vehicle’s performance is also considered, including the 0-60 mph acceleration time and top speed, as well as the overall standard fit vehicle security levels, determined by Thatcham’s New Vehicle Security Assessment (NVSA).Parts pricing is also important in the rating process. This is considered from a standard list of 23 parts which are deemed to be the most commonly damaged panels and components in an accident.
Periodically, the formula and process are reviewed to ensure they remain fit for purpose and accurately reflect any new technologies that may affect each model’s predicted risk characteristics. One additional factor that was recently added was to take account of AEB systems where fitted as standard. These systems are tested to establish their effectiveness and the results are then used to reduce the group rating.
With effect from 1st January 2013 the formula used by the ABI Group Rating Panel to calculate the advisory ABI Car Group for new car models was revised. This followed a 2 year consultation process involving insurers, vehicle manufacturers and the ABI. Following this period of consultation and testing, a number of changes to the existing formula were implemented. Whilst the changes do not result in a large scale re-distribution of group ratings, for some models the new formula will have an impact on how the new ABI Car Group compares with the group rating of the current equivalent vehicle. Insurers and members of the public may see increases and/or decreases in ABI Car Groups for what outwardly appear to be similar vehicles.
(NOTE – parts prices are supplied by the manufacturers, not Thatcham)