MALE, 45. No claims for 10 years. Car insurance premium last year, £400. This year £955.

Female, 62. No claims for 10 years. Car insurance premium last year £550. Initial quotation for this year £1660.

These are just two examples of many I have received.

Drivers in BB1 and BB2 postcodes are facing huge increases in their premiums not because of their own claims record – which in almost every case I have seen has been an insurance company’s dream – but because of others.

These ‘others’ are the ones involved in ‘cash for crash’ criminal scams, driving whilst uninsured, or who have been ‘imaginative’ about injuries especially whiplash.

In many such case they will have been prompted by one of the many claims’ companies.

I want to get to the bottom of all this, and have been in active discussions with the Association of British Insurers (ABI). I have quite a number of cases.

But if you have been affected by whopping increases in premium quotations, please let me have this information as soon as possible.

Blackburn, say the ABI, is not the only the area in the country with big rises in car insurance.

There’s been a 40 per cent average increase in premium across the country, because for every pound paid in premiums £1.23 goes out in claims.

Rising personal injury compensation now accounts for half of all premium income – with ‘whiplash’ claims rocketing.

The ABI are not wrong about this. My close friend and agent Phil Riley was driving through Preston; stopped to let the car in front turn right.

The vehicle behind crumped into him.

Phil bumped his head, but there was no lasting injury of any kind.

The driver immediately admitted liability. His insurers paid up for the minor damage to Phil’s car.

Then Phil started to get calls and texts to his mobile from claims companies, telling him that ‘£3,000+’ was possible his for ‘whiplash’.

He told one company that this would be immoral; such practices simply added to decent drivers’ costs; would they please stop pestering him.

The texts go on. He has no idea how these companies got his number.

The ABI are advising folk to shop around.

The ‘female, 60’ above got this year’s premium down to £625, after a lot of discussion, when long-standing but now redundant ‘any driver’ loading was cancelled.

But – and it’s a big but – it’s my belief that the complex mathematical formulae insurers use to calculate premiums rely too heavily on postcodes, and not enough on assessing the specific risk the specific driver poses.

If Blackburn was a hotspot for random thefts of and from vehicles the use of postcodes would be understandable.

But it isn’t – and car crime has down in the last decade.

[Contact: Jack Straw MP, Richmond Terrace, BB1 7AS, or