Saturday 22 July 2017

Blow for drivers as Zenith pulls out of Irish motor insurance market

Zenith Motor Insurance has pulled out of the Irish market
Zenith Motor Insurance has pulled out of the Irish market

Charlie Weston Personal Finance Editor

THE crisis-hit motor insurance market has suffered a new blow after an insurance company said it would no longer write new business here.

Zenith Insurance, the largest Gibraltar-based motor insurer in Ireland, has decided to pull out of the motor market over soaring claims costs and losses for insurers.

The move comes after Aviva said that prevalence of whiplash claims were adding €130 to the average premium.

Premiums have shot up by 70pc in the last three years, and are up almost 40pc in the last 12 months.

One of the agents used by Zenith here, Galway-based Bump Insurance, confirmed that Zenith was pulling out of the market.

“We wish to advise that Zenith Insurance plc, part of the Markerstudy Group, has decided to cease writing motor business in Ireland through all of its Irish managing general agents.

“In respect of Bump Insurance, this means that no more policies will be written by us on behalf of this particular Insurer from February 2017 onwards.”

The notice posted by Bump on behalf of Zenith blames an increasing regulatory burden and the uncertain legislative environment for decision by Zenith to get out of the market. It also blamed what it called “a lack of engagement with us by Irish industry bodies”.

Zenith is thought to have built up a 5pc market share here through agents such as Bump, Footprint Underwriting and Prestige Underwriting Services.

Zenith used underwriting agencies here. They operate between brokers and insurance companies, the insurer company ultimately taking the risk for policies.

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