Insurance hikes could price people out of cover
Rising premiums could result in more uninsured drivers on the roads and leave young motorists at danger of being priced out of cover, the chief executive of one of the country's largest insurance groups has warned.
Fiona Muldoon, who heads FBD, warned that the company was likely push through a 10-15pc increase in its car insurance rates this year as the industry hikes prices in an effort to remain profitable amid rising claims awards.
She conceded that rising motor insurance rates could prompt some people to ditch cover altogether and risk hitting the road in uninsured vehicles.
Young drivers - who are already forking out for high insurance - could also find themselves unable to foot rising bills.
But Ms Muldoon said she didn't want that happen.
"I hope it doesn't get to that and I don't think it's there yet," she said. "I'm old enough to remember that the cost of my first premium was more than the cost of my clapped-out, banana-yellow Volkswagen Golf that myself and my sister bought together, so I hope we're not headed back to those days."
Ms Muldoon said awards made by courts for insurance claims remained too high.
The chief executive said: "We have choices to make. There's nothing free in this life.
"If we're going to have this generous courts system, then it's going to be loaded onto the premiums of the many. "It has to be paid for."