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Drivers 'should get discounts from their insurers'

 

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Michael Kilcoyne of the Consumers' Association. Photo: Colm Mahady / Fennells

Michael Kilcoyne of the Consumers' Association. Photo: Colm Mahady / Fennells

Michael Kilcoyne of the Consumers' Association. Photo: Colm Mahady / Fennells

Motor insurers have been called on to offer drivers discounts as there has been a dramatic drop in the numbers driving during the coronavirus pandemic.

American insurers are offering discounts and credits to motorists. The Consumers' Association of Ireland wants insurance firms in this country to do the same.

It comes as insurance experts said claim volumes have collapsed, a development that will save insurers millions of euro.

Chairman of the Consumers' Association Michael Kilcoyne said the risk of accidents had substantially reduced, which should translate into discounts for motorists.

"It is perfectly reasonable to expect motor insurers here to follow the Americans. Their risks are lower and they have charged people on the basis of a risk that is now substantially reduced."

Leading insurance broker Jonathan Hehir also said motor claims were well down.

"The notification of claims has dropped to the floor," he said. Mr Hehir, of CoverInAClick.ie, said people not using their car or van should apply to their insurer to suspend cover.

This is particularly the case for those with a second car they are not using, or a van that is not being used as they have to stop working.

Experts said you notify the insurer to suspend insurance if you are not using the vehicle and claim a rebate after reactivating the policy.

The policy would still have fire and theft cover.

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Mr Hehir said the policy would need to be suspended for at least 28 days, and a rebate of up to 75pc of the pro-rata premium could be given back in a rebate.

Insurance Ireland said unless a vehicle is certified as being off the road, it must be insured.

But insurers told Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe that they will not charge cancellation fees or missed direct debit fees.

And the renewal grace period has been extended to 28 days.

Visit our Covid-19 vaccine dashboard for updates on the roll out of the vaccination program and the rate of Coronavirus cases Ireland


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