Thursday 14 November 2019

How where you live can drive up the cost of motor insurance

Picture posed. Thinkstock
Picture posed. Thinkstock

Charlie Weston Personal Finance Editor

Sizeable differences in the cost of motor insurance, depending on where you live, have been revealed.

A survey seen by the Irish Independent highlights that where your home is located can mean a price difference of up to €100 when it comes to covering your car.

And the findings have blown away the perception that Dublin is dearer for car insurance.

In many cases drivers in Cork, Limerick and Waterford are paying more than those in the capital and in Meath, the survey by broker AonInsure.ie shows.

Evidence is also beginning to emerge that insurers are starting to hike premiums for women -- ahead of new EU rules that will ban gender discrimination from December.

Women currently pay much less for insurance than men because statistics show them to be less risky drivers. But an EU ruling will ban companies from charging different insurance rates to men and women from December.

Women drivers face a motor insurance hike of up to €100 by the end of the year, when new rules banning gender discrimination kick in.

Despite the implementation of the EU gender directive being months off, Declan Cahill of AonInsure.ie said prices for women are already creeping up.

"We do not expect that providers are going to wait until just before the directive comes into law to make changes to pricing. Instead, we expect them to gradually make changes.

"In fact, we are already beginning to see some providers in the market closing the gap between males and females by slowly increasing female costs and bringing down male costs."

Some insurers reckon there will be an 11pc increase in motor premiums for young women drivers.

Criteria

But some motor industry sources said young female drivers may suffer even larger increases of up to 25pc.

Men will enjoy just a small decrease in premiums.

Mr Cahill warned male and female drivers to be aware of huge cost difference between insurers, and also huge regional differences in cost from one county to another, based on the same risk criteria.

The broker has produced a new index on the costs of cover for 12 different types of driver, with 12 different cars each, and got each insurer to quote for 11 different counties.

Female drivers, aged 27 and driving a Ford Focus, pay most in Limerick, Dublin and Meath.

A male, aged 35, with a Toyota Avensis, who wants fully comprehensive insurance along with his wife, pays most in Limerick, Cork and Galway. If the driver was based in Waterford the insurance would cost €318, but €414 in Limerick, a difference of €96.

For the same car, and same driver, it would be €64 cheaper to take out cover with an address in Dublin as opposed to Limerick.

Accidents tend to be more prevalent in rural areas, while speeding restrictions in built-up areas keep accidents down, Mr Cahill said.

And Mr Cahill encouraged drivers to use the new pricing index on his company's website to check if they are being quoted more than average for cover.

"If consumers are paying more than the average then they should phone their provider and ask why," he said.

Irish Independent

Also in Business