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Tuesday 25 October 2016

Allison Bray: 'My flawless driving record got me 70pc premium hike'

Published 13/09/2016 | 02:30

Allison Bray’s insurer raised her premium from €283 to €479. Picture: Arthur Carron
Allison Bray’s insurer raised her premium from €283 to €479. Picture: Arthur Carron

'Despite a spotless driving record, I am looking at a 70pc increase in my motor insurance premium this year and my insurer won't tell me why.

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In over 30 years of driving, I have made two claims - both in my native Canada where I struck a coyote on a country road about 25 years ago and another one for a minor fender bender when I skidded on ice during a blizzard more than 20 years ago.

In almost 20 years of driving in Ireland, I have never made a claim, never had an accident nor received any penalty points. I haven't even had a parking ticket in over five years.

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Despite this, my insurer has increased my premium from a reasonable €282.88 last year to a whopping €478.66, for no apparent reason.

I take the train to work and drive my 13-year-old Ford Focus less than 8,000 kilometres a year, mostly at weekends or to go to the local shops. I am also a woman over the age of 50.

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But when I explained all of this to my insurer and asked for a written explanation of the assessment, I was met with silence.

The best a spokeswoman for the company could offer was the standard line used to justify an average increase of 35pc for most motorists this year.

"As you may know from the considerable publicity generated on this subject in recent months, motor insurance premiums are increasing significantly across the insurance industry," she said.

"The representative body for the sector, Insurance Ireland, has cited a number of factors contributing to these increases, including: double-digit increases in awards made by courts in 2015; higher levels of awards in Ireland compared to our European neighbours; and a steep change in the number of uninsured drivers on Irish roads," she added.

But it still doesn't seem right that I am being charged double the standard increase for those with poor driving records.

Irish Independent

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