Figures released this week suggest a widespread increase in the excess charged by insurers on policy claims.
Analysts Defaqto looked at a range of insurance products and compared current deals to those of 2008. At that time one in four motor policies charged more than £75 excess when replacing a windscreen, but now almost half of companies charge such rates. Similarly, whereas a third of home insurance policies had an excess of £100 or more in 2008, half do so today.
It's worth noting that its possible many companies may have been a little below these figures in 2008 and thus breached the barriers with only a small increase. Of course, that would suggest a large number of companies having similar terms, showing the importance of shopping around, and not simply comparing firms based on price.
Consumer experts have also warned that some insurers apply excesses in what appears an unfair way, finding loopholes that allow them to apply multiple excess charges to a claim for a single incident. The BBC said the most extreme example was a case where a woodpecker made multiple holes in a garden shed: the insurer tried, but failed, to argue that it could apply an excess to every hole individually and thus owed nothing on the payout.