| 5.9°C Dublin

Blue Insurance starts price war


Ciaran Mulligan of Blue Insurance. Photo: David Conachy

Ciaran Mulligan of Blue Insurance. Photo: David Conachy

Ciaran Mulligan of Blue Insurance. Photo: David Conachy

Blue Insurance has launched the country's first ever two-year home and motor insurance products, as experts predict a 20pc hike in car insurance costs.

The products, whose €1m marketing campaign is fronted by RTE star Kathryn Thomas, will allow consumers to lock down the price of their premiums for two years "at a time when car insurance prices in particular are increasing quite dramatically" according to Blue owner and managing director Ciaran Mulligan.

The cost of vehicle insurance policies climbed by close to 12pc in 2014, according to figures from the Central Stastistics Office.

Drivers have been warned to expect double-digit hikes in insurance premiums this year, with younger drivers set to see the biggest increases.

Experts are blaming the early settlement of claims for inflating costs. The Injuries Board has called for a probe into the matter, with head of the board Patricia Byron stating that undue haste to settle cases may lead to "disproportionate legal fees".

The new products represent the first time that Blue, Ireland's biggest online broker, has offered motor or home insurance.

The company was founded by Ciaran Mulligan and Rowan Devereaux in 2003. Mulligan later bought out his business partner's stake in the business and was nominated for an EY Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2011.

The motor insurance product is underwritten by UK business Zenith Insurance, while the home insurance product is underwritten by UKG Ireland.Blue's model is based on selling insurance products individually rather than bundled, using standalone websites for each - with sites like www.gadgetinsurance.com for smartphone and tablet insurance.

The company's main markets are Ireland and the UK. It is in the midst of establishing a foothold in Australia.

It already sells there through an underwriter, but is now building stand-alone sites. Mulligan is also eyeing up Indian, the UAE and USA.

Sunday Indo Business