Saturday 20 January 2018

Drivers are hit as premiums rise 50pc

The motoring body AA has warned that premiums for the State's two million drivers are set to continue to rise into next year unless major reforms are put in place by insurers and the Government. (Stock image)
The motoring body AA has warned that premiums for the State's two million drivers are set to continue to rise into next year unless major reforms are put in place by insurers and the Government. (Stock image)
Charlie Weston

Charlie Weston

More than one-third of motorists have seen the cost of their insurance rise by up to 50pc this year. This has prompted thousands of drivers to reduce their levels of insurance cover in an attempt to manage costs, says the AA.

A rise of this amount means that someone paying €500 last year is now being quoted €750.

And the motoring body has warned that premiums for the State's two million drivers are set to continue to rise into next year unless major reforms are put in place by insurers and the Government.

An AA motor insurance survey of over 5,000 motorists reveals that 34pc have seen their insurance premiums rise by between 20pc and 50pc when compared with 2014.

Another third of motorists surveyed said they were forking out up to an extra 20pc.

A quarter of policyholders saw no change in the cost of their premiums.

Only 5pc of drivers witnessed a cost reduction.

Chief executive of AA Ireland Brendan Nevin said ordinary drivers were being asked to carry an unacceptable burden.

"After a long period of cost stability, average prices have risen by almost 40pc since January 2014," he said.

"If the root causes we've identified are tackled head on, we can quickly create a stable and sustainable market for motor insurance. If they are not, then we will continue to suffer uncertainty, market failures and unacceptably high prices."

Fraudulent activity, high legal and claims costs, poorly resourced regulation, low levels of enforcement and a lack of industry transparency have cost motorists dearly, according to the AA. Drivers will collectively pay €300m in extra premium costs this year, the AA said.

The survey comes as a shareholder meeting of insurer FBD heard accusations that the loss-making firm had "a culture similar to the Irish Farmers' Association".

Shareholders claimed that many of the same people involved in the IFA payments scandal have had a role in bringing FBD to its current position.

This was denied by FBD chief executive Fiona Muldoon.

See also Business, p31

Irish Independent

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