Insurance costs in rural areas are 12pc higher than the capital
HOUSEHOLDERS in rural areas are paying 12pc more for their home insurance than those in the greater Dublin region, new figures show.
The findings of a survey by AA Ireland have surprised experts who expected it to be more expensive to insure a home in the capital and its surrounding areas.
Dubliners are paying on average €455 for home rebuilding and contents insurance, compared with an average of €511 for the rest of the country.
This is a difference of €56 over a year, or 12pc, according to a survey of nine insurers.
A spokesman for AA Ireland said he could only conclude that higher claims in rural areas recently were behind the premium differences.
Head of general insurance at the Irish Insurance Federation Michael Horan said its experience was that it was more expensive to buy home insurance in Dublin.
Higher numbers of burglaries in the capital tended to make insuring a home and its contents there more expensive, he said.
The survey also showed that home insurance costs rose by 3pc last year and found it costs an average of €482 for home insurance across the State, up from €466 last year.
This is despite a dramatic fall in rebuilding costs.
Insuring the rebuilding costs of a house worth less than €250,000 has gone from €424 in the first three months of 2011 to €444 in the first quarter of this year.
The Insurance Federation questioned the findings that premiums costs were rising. Mr Horan said that recent figures from the Central Statistics Office found a fall in premiums in the past year.
He said there were around a dozen insurers in the market, which he said was highly competitive.
"Overall, premiums are competitive and stable. People should shop around as there is good value out there," he said.
AA Home Insurance said a growth in domestic burglaries and the flood bill from last October were likely to be affecting prices. Recent figures showed a rise of 8pc in burglaries last year. There were 3,532 household claims at a cost of €58m, made as a result of last October's flash floods.