Wednesday 1 March 2017

Insurers told to pass on savings to homeowners

Charlie Weston Personal Finance Editor

INSURANCE companies were told yesterday to cut the premiums they charge hard-pressed homeowners.

Head of the State's Injuries Board Patricia Byron said it had lowered its fees and the fact that most compensation cases no longer go to the courts was saving insurers €100m a year.

These savings should be passed on to consumers, she said.

The board, which was set up to encourage compensation claims to be settled outside the courts, paid out €30m less in claims last year than in 2009.

Household insurance has surged by 15pc in the past year, while motor premiums are up 6.5pc in a year, according to official figures.

Some insurers have warned of further rises this year because of the big freeze at Christmas.

Ms Byron said the Injuries Board was not seeing any spike in claims from the severe freeze in 2010.

"In fact our data indicates that there were fewer public liability claims in January 2010 than in January 2009," Ms Byron said.

Head of the Irish Insurance Federation, Mike Kemp, denied that insurers were profiteering.

"I am confident that the market is open and competitive enough to ensure that any premium savings coming from the likes of the Injuries Board are being passed on," Mr Kemp said.

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