• Dividends paid this year:

Dividend payments this year are equivalent to £63 for each of their 7.6 million policy holders. Both Direct Line and Admiral have indicated to shareholders that they expect dividend payments to continue to increase.

Direct Line

In the first 9 months of 2013, Direct Line made an operating profit of £418m, a 20.1% increase on the same period last years (£348m) and released a further £311.1 million from reserves. It said: “The bulk of the release arose in the Motor division where the Group has experienced favourable development on bodily injury claims, which is currently expected to continue”.

Admiral

In the first half of 2013, the second largest car insurer saw its profits from the UK market increase 5% to £192.7 million (H1 2012: £183.3 million). This follows a bumper year in 2012 when its profit from the UK car insurance rose 19% to £373m (2011: £314m). Like Direct Line, Admiral admitted it had over-provided and was seeing an ongoing reduction in claims. Its half year statement said: “Higher releases (from reserves) were possible due to the positive claims experience during 2012 and the first half of 2013, which resulted in improvements in the projected ultimate loss ratios, especially for the 2010 to 2012 underwriting years.” Chief executive Henry Englehardt added: “We were able to increase profits largely due to excellent claims experience”.