Case study: 'My Dublin colleagues are paying excessive car insurance costs - much higher than my premium'
A professional who lives in Northern Ireland but commutes (by train) to work in Dublin on a daily basis believes that the amount his colleagues are paying for their insurance is "excessive".
"Not only would the high costs drive people off the road, but it would also have an impact on households like mine, where a second car is a necessity for commuting to work," Gavin* (who wishes to remain anonymous) said.
"When you factor in those premiums in addition to fuel and already high childcare costs, it may not make financial sense for both partners to work."
Using his profile with permission, Independent.ie contacted a number of insurance firms to compare quotes against each other - and against the driver's current premium in Co Armagh.
For comparison sakes, we used a commuter town of similar size and population in the Republic of Ireland.
Age - 36
Status - Married
Children - 2
Profession – IT Professional
Length of licence – 18 years
Years no claims bonus (NCB) – 10+
Audi A6 – £491 (~€582)
On street parking or off - Driveway
Two claims but NCB bonus protected
Penalty points – 3
Vehicle - 2013 Audi A6 S Line Black Edition 1968cc Diesel
Taking into account the fact that the initial quote did not even involve disclosing penalty points or on street parking, the general comparison revealed some interesting results.
For fully comprehensive cover, as our case study candidate currently holds, the best value premiums offered were double that (€1140) of what Gavin is charged under his policy in the North.
However, further enquiries led to quotes as high as €3,200.
"The insurance industry suffered heavy losses during the crash, so it’s not surprising that insurers would be trying to claw some of that back now the economy is improving," said Gavin.
"However the industry was affected globally, which would indicate other factors making Irish premiums more expensive.
"Judging by various cases I’ve read about in the news, there does seem to be higher rates of compensation paid out in the south, which can’t be helping matters. When compared to Ireland, the UK is a larger more competitive market, which would also contribute to the difference."
Gavin believes that the impact of rising car insurance costs will lead to more uninsured drivers on the road, which will push premiums higher.
"It is insured drivers who ultimately foot the bill for claims involving those with no insurance," he said.
"Younger drivers and those with less driving experience, who already pay the highest premiums, will eventually end up priced out of the market and either off the road or driving with no insurance.
"For drivers like this in rural areas, it could be an influential factor in deciding to move to urban locations with better public transport, or even emigrate."