'Bodily injuries' hike 123.ie premiums
THE chief executive of insurance company RSA Ireland, Philip Smith, was reluctant to come out this week and defend his company's move to push up premiums for motorists by 13pc.
RSA is imposing double-digit increases despite motor premiums rising by just 0.1pc across the market.
It comes three years after RSA shelled out €60m for 123.ie. The company has denied it is now trying to recoup the cost of buying 123.ie, or that it is profiteering by pushing up premiums.
Consumers have been expressing concern for ages about huge rises – some as high as 200pc – being imposed on motorists by RSA and 123.ie.
Confirmation of the 13pc year-on-year rise was buried in an interim management statement issued by RSA's global operation. It blamed "deteriorating bodily injury trends" for the rise in premiums.
Interestingly, the company also said it was reviewing its "bodily injury reserves in Ireland". That is worrying and could indicate that Mr Smith's company is set to impose more premium rises.
Mr Smith, pictured, is an important person in the insurance sector, as president of Insurance Ireland, which used to be called the Irish Insurance Federation. The other general insurance company members of Insurance Ireland will be watching closely how the premium rises issue plays out.
Mr Smith may not be able to keep his head down much longer if motor premiums start rises across the board.