UK insurers say court decision saves $480 mln

LONDON, Oct 10 (Reuters) - British insurers on Wednesdaywelcomed a court decision on the timing of a planned increase inpersonal injury awards, saying it would save them 300 millionpounds ($479.95 million).

"Today's decision by the Court of Appeal means that insurerswill not be forced to pass on about 300 million pounds inincreased costs to the premium paying public," said JamesDalton, assistant director of motor and liability at theAssociation of British Insurers.

"We have won a battle against unnecessary costs, but not thewar."

The ruling means that the increase in awards will apply onlyto claims that are made after April 1 2013, but not to olderclaims that are settled beyond that date.

Direct Line, the British insurer in the process of listingits shares on the London stock market, had warned that it mighttake a hit of up to 45 million pounds if the decision had gonethe other way.

Direct Line declined to comment.($1 = 0.6251 British pounds)

(Reporting by Myles Neligan; editing by Matt Scuffham)

((myles.neligan@thomsonreuters.com; +44 207 542 13 73;))