Friday 21 October 2016

Punters again asked to pick up the pieces

Published 07/08/2015 | 02:30

Motoring premiums are up around 20pc in the past year
Motoring premiums are up around 20pc in the past year

At a time when the prices of many goods and services are falling, it is galling for consumers to be faced with demands to pay more for motor insurance.

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And it is not as if drivers bear much responsibility for this distasteful state of affairs. There are also fears of home insurance going up.

There are a whole range of reasons for surging insurance premiums - most of them have to do with the past conduct of insurers and the failure of regulators to rein them in.

The bottom line is that motoring premiums are up around 20pc in the past year.

This means paying an extra €100 on a premium that was €500 last year.

Staff in insurance companies are also suffering, with Liberty and RSA among those laying off hundreds of workers.

A string of reasons have been trotted out. They include a fall in investment income - which is often used to make up for losses on insurance books. Also in the mix is higher levels of claims by motorists.

Changes in the size of claims that can be dealt with through the Circuit Court have also prompted more drivers to engage a lawyer and lawyers add to claims costs.

All the while, the Central Bank has been arguing with the Department of Finance that it does not have sufficient powers and enough staff to keep a lid on the situation.

And as usual, it is the punter who is asked to pick up the pieces for this mess. It is enough to drive you demented.

Irish Independent

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