Tuesday 26 September 2017

Chancers try it on to get us to pay more for motor cover

SELF-PRESERVATION: Motor insurance is a grudge purchase, as no matter what sort of driving we do, trundling around rural byways or hurtling down the steps of Turin, we are obliged by law to have it
SELF-PRESERVATION: Motor insurance is a grudge purchase, as no matter what sort of driving we do, trundling around rural byways or hurtling down the steps of Turin, we are obliged by law to have it
Charlie Weston

Charlie Weston

THE motor insurance industry has messed up and we saps who drive are expected to bail them out. Through no fault of any driver, motor insurers racked up combined losses of a staggering €192m last year.

Industry experts said we drivers can expect to pay higher premiums to make good the losses. And it is not all down to the financial implosion of RSA Ireland, which owns 123.ie.

Irish-owned FBD hiked its motoring rates twice last year, and five times this year. The most recent rate rise was only last month, according to Davy Stockbrokers. RSA and FBD are among the three largest motor insurers in this market.

The losses, which were revealed by the representative body for the industry, Insurance Ireland, come as claims levels are also on the up.

And just to make sure we have a proper mess that drivers will end up paying to sort out, it has also emerged that insurance companies are rushing to settle claims.

They are doing this rather than allowing them to go to the Injuries Board, the State body set up in an attempt to reduce the huge legal costs associated with a personal injuries claim.

The involvement of ambulance-chasing lawyers can add more than 50pc to the overall cost of a claim.

Taking claims away from the Injuries Board raises the suspicion that lawyers are getting a cut of the awards the insurance companies are making, undermining the activities of the board.

Some of this came to mind when I got a renewal notice for my motor insurance lately, which was €100 more than last year. This is despite nothing having changed in terms of the insurable risk, other than the car losing a chunk of its value.

Just two phone calls to brokers Chill.ie and AA Insurance produced quotations more than €100 cheaper than the renewal quote. So it was back to my insurer with these better quotes. All of a sudden something called a "discretionary discount" was pulled out of the hat.

Guess what? This discretionary discount matched the better-value quote Chill.ie got me.

Motor insurance is a grudge purchase, as every driver is required by law to have it.

It is also one big try-one.

What else do you buy where the price is so arbitrary, and will come down by up to 25pc if you put it up to the provider?

Yet 20pc of people never bother to check if they can get better value by scouring the market, according to National Consumer Agency research.

These people are sitting ducks for the rip-off that is a renewal quote.

Insurers know a certain percentage of people will accept any quote.

So, don't let insurance chancers get the better of you.

We must insist we are not going to pay for their financial mess.

Twitter: @CWeston_Indo

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