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Wednesday 20 November 2019

Sympathy for the lads, but women fear premium hikes

Aideen Sheehan

SARAH Merrigan is one of thousands of women hoping they won't see their insurance premiums soar on foot of the European Court ruling.

The 23-year-old teacher from Gorey, Co Wexford pays €625 for comprehensive insurance, but said most men her age would be paying around €1,000 for the same cover.

Driving since she was 17, she said she's reliant on her car getting to work in Wicklow and then to Wexford for football training.

"I have a certain amount of sympathy for the lads who have to pay so much for their insurance but they do have a higher risk of accidents," she said.

Ms Merrigan said the government should regulate to stop insurers taking advantage of the ruling to hike rates for women.

"The worst-case scenario is female premiums rising and male ones staying the same, so the insurance companies just make more out of women," she said.

Darragh Flannery, who is also 23 and from Redcross, Co Wicklow, is paying €800 for third-party fire and theft cover. Despite having a clean record, the cost of comprehensive insurance for him would be €1,200.

He drives a BMW 308, but it's not the flash make that is boosting the cost. He said he was quoted the same premium for his last car, a 1.4-litre Volkswagen Golf.

"The difference is unbelievable, even though you have some very careful male drivers," he said.

An aircraft engineer, Mr Flannery doesn't even drive to work, instead getting the bus to Dublin Airport, so it's costing him a lot of money to keep a car sitting idle.

"I've just renewed my insurance, so I'm not going to see the benefit of this decision, but I hope next time I do there will be some reduction," he said.

Irish Independent

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