Insurers refusing to give quotes if previous claim made
INSURANCE companies are refusing to quote homeowners for insurance if they have made a previous claim.
A survey by the National Consumer Agency (NCA) found that six insurers refused to quote house insurance for a Dublin home after a €12,000 claim was made for a burglary.
This stops people shopping around and potentially saving €400, the state body said.
The NCA sought quotes for a mid-terrace, three-bedroom townhouse in Milltown, Dublin 6. The cost of rebuilding was put at €350,000 and the contents were valued at €75,000.
Two sets of quotes were sought -- one for the house and contents in a situation where there had not been a previous claim for a burglary, and one where €12,000 had been claimed for a burglary last year.
Quotations for the house that had not been burgled ranged from €422 to €782.
However, once quotes were sought for the same house where a claim had been made six insurers refused to quote. There were Allianz, Aviva, Axa, ChartisDirect, FBD and Zurich.
Two firms did quote. RSA Insurance quoted €706, while Quinn Direct quoted €1,083.
Director of financial information at the NCA Karen O'Leary warned that consumers who have made claims are encountering difficulties.
She said some insurers will not quote a consumer for insurance if:
- there was a claim for more than €12,000 in the last three years.
- there was more than one claim in the last three years.
- there were two or more claims of more than €5,000 in the last five years.
Head of the Consumers Association, Dermott Jewell, accused insurers of adding to the trauma for those who experience a break-in.
People end up having personal items like jewellery and laptops stolen during a burglary, and they then find they cannot renew their insurance without paying a huge premium, he said.
The head of the representative body for insurers denied last night that his members were discriminating against those who have been forced to make a claim.
Chief executive of the Irish Insurance Federation Mike Kemp said insurers had lost around €174m on household business last year.
Claims from householders this year were set to be higher because of the flooding and the big freeze at Christmas and the start of the year.