A leading British insurer has reported a collapse in motor claims during the pandemic, prompting questions about the low value of rebates being offered to drivers here.
Direct Line in the UK said motor claims notifications were down 70pc in April.
It comes as insurers here are offering average rebates of between €25 and €33 per policy, after being put under pressure from the Government to give drivers refunds.
The rebates are so low they have been described as an insult, with others claiming they represent little more than a PR gesture.
Traffic volumes are down by up to 60pc over the past
five weeks, according to Goodbody Stockbrokers, compared with declines of 61-66pc in the UK.
Analyst Eamonn Hughes said the Direct Line claims notifications figure highlights the potential sharp decline in motor claims costs and the reason why insurers have been urged to consider rebates for customers in recent weeks.
Last week, five insurers announced they would return funds to their motor customers. They are Axa, Allianz, FBD, RSA and Zurich. Liberty separately said it would offer refunds.
It is understood AIG is to lower its premiums rather than offer rebates, a move that would discourage shopping around. Asked if it was offering rebates, Aviva would only say it will continue to review traffic volumes, driving habits and claims.
Motor insurers have been accused of "insulting" their policyholders by offering such small rebates.
Chairman of the Consumers' Association Michael Kilcoyne accused the industry of giving back too little.
"It is an insult to offer so little back to drivers, given that the risks for insurance companies have reduced. The insurers always win," he said.
And he questioned the usefulness of an insurer offering to lower renewal premiums, which he said would discourage drivers seeking out better value across the market.
FBD Insurance has said that a €35 One4all gift card will be issued to all customers who hold an FBD standard private car, commercial van or jeep policy as of March 31.
Zurich motor customers are to get a €40 refund, expected to be in the form of a One4All gift card.
Motorists insured with Liberty Ireland are to get back 15pc of their premium for two months, subject to a minimum of €10.
Axa is refunding what is expected to work out at up to €30 per policy.
RSA said it is still looking into how it can issue refunds to its customers.