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Could open prison be driving up car insurance?

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: May 12, 2014

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MOTORISTS in Sudbury could be paying for living near an open prison.

People moving into the area have complained of rocketing car insurance rates, leading to suggestions the hikes are down to the fact they live in the shadow of the village’s open prison, which has faced criticism over its record of absconders.

An investigation by the Mail revealed that some companies were charging hundreds of pounds extra for Sudbury residents compared to neighbouring Doveridge, and almost double that of drivers in Burton – despite there being considerably more vehicle crime in the town.

Younger drivers are particularly affected.

With vehicle crime an extremely rare occurrence in rural Sudbury, there are suspicions the fluctuations could be down to concerns inmates who are on the run could be roaming through the village.

Mark Woods, a director at insurance firm A Choice, admitted the anomaly was difficult to explain, but said although living near a prison should not have a direct impact on insurance prices, its presence in the area could be having some sort of influence.

He said: “It’s quite complex. Generally it comes down to the density of the area and the frequency of claims.

“An open prison would have no impact on the cost of insurance, but if you give the same postcode that is in the vicinity of a prison or Army base it could throw up a few anomalies.”

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