Tuesday 24 October 2017

Motor insurance premiums fall sharply - but consumers have yet to feel it in their pockets

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Stock Photo
Charlie Weston

Charlie Weston

Motor insurance premiums fell sharply in June.

New figures from the Central Statistics Office show the cost of the average premium is now down by 10.2pc in the last year.

The CSO said the cost of the average motor premium was down 0.5pc in June.

However, few are seeing this in renewal quotes yet.

This is because it comes after hikes of up to 70pc in the cost of cover over the last while.

Insurers are under huge pressure to stop pushing up premiums due to a public backlash.

And last week’s dramatic dawn raids on insurance bodies here by European Union regulators has put them under renewed scrutiny.

The EU is investigating allegations that insurers are operating a cartel here to restrict new entrants to the market. It is claimed this partly explains the surge in insurance costs in the last three years.

The State’s Competition and Consumer Protection Commission is also probing cartel claims, with a focus on price signalling among insurers.

The claims of operating a cartel have been strongly rejected by the industry.

And the Government is pushing thorough reforms in a bid to control the spiralling cost of cover.

Over a range of prices, the inflation measure showed that prices fell by 0.4pc in the year to June 2017.

The most notable changes in the year were decreases in clothing and footwear, furnishings, household equipment and routine household maintenance, along with food and non-alcoholic beverages.

However, rents continue to rise, despite Government measures to control rises in urban areas.

Private rents were up almost 8pc in the last year, the CSO said.

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