On a mission to find affordable premiums
I'm a 24-year-old student with a provisional licence for the past two years. Last year, my insurance premium for third-party fire and theft coverage was €1,350, which is high - but as I drive a 1998 Opel Corsa, I figured this was the best I was going to get.
In early June, my insurance renewal package came through the letterbox. The cover letter read: "We are delighted to announce that we can offer you a competitive price of €1,950 for the coming year."
I was gobsmacked, especially since included in the package was a copy of my no claims bonus and I've never received any penalty points.
I got straight on the phone to AXA and I was told that insurance premiums were up across the board.
"Sure I'm out €90 myself," said the man on the phone. There is a massive difference between €90 and €600.
I told them "Thanks, but no thanks" and set out on a mission to find affordable insurance.
My only income came from a part-time position as a sales assistant in Penneys. I couldn't understand why the cost of my insurance should nearly be twice higher than the value of my car. At my age it's a huge financial strain to just get on the road, never mind paying for petrol and maintenance.
A quick online quote quickly ruled out many companies, including Aviva.
"We are unable to provide you with a quote. Based on the information provided, the risk you have submitted has fallen outside our online acceptance criteria," read their website.
My car had passed the NCT and was legally deemed roadworthy. I even went to the bother of going through the local broker to find the best deal. I ended up paying €1,500 for just third-party insurance with First Ireland.