Wednesday 7 December 2016

Are car insurance companies the new breed of dictator?

Published 25/07/2015 | 02:30

Cars over 15 years old will not be insured by major companies
Cars over 15 years old will not be insured by major companies

Only a few months ago, Irish car insurance companies, apparently by mutual agreement and almost overnight, doubled and in some cases trebled premiums for motorists. They did this in spite of the fact that the insurance regulatory body asked them to provide reasons for their increases at a time when the number of claims and level of amounts paid were decreasing. They never provided justification for their exorbitant hike in premiums and blatantly got their way.

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Now we have just heard that two biggies, Aviva and Allianz, will not insure cars older than 15 years because they say they are more likely to be involved in collisions. The restriction would affect around 250,000 car owners, despite the fact that the majority of them cannot afford to spend much on a car and may be driving well-maintained and mechanically-sound vehicles.

Most likely these insurers will again get their way, which poses the question about the impotence of regulatory bodies that are not exercising their statutory powers to protect consumers.

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