Any insurance brokers with personal lines clients will know all about the struggles of explaining the rising costs of car insurance. You can attempt to justify the rise of Insurance Premium Tax, or the impact of the Ogden rate, but ultimately when customers can search for cheap – albeit not necessarily ‘cover equal’ – deals online, it’s a battle that’s hard to win.
Spare a thought then for our neighbours over in Ireland – there, insurance brokers have had to explain away the fact that car insurance premiums now cost an average 30% more than they did just three years ago, according to one insurer. No surprise then, that the same insurer is hitting out.
According to a report by The Irish Times, AA Ireland, one of the largest insurers in the country, has lashed out at the Government after a poll of 4,000 people revealed motorists – some 75% - were increasingly concerned with premium prices.
“The story of high insurance costs isn’t a new one, but it is an issue which has fallen off the priority list at Leinster House,” the AA’s director of consumer affairs, Conor Faughnan, told the publication. “Ultimately, while the significant annual increases that many people were seeing in 2015 and 2016 have largely eased, the majority of motorists are still paying more for their cover than they would have in previous years.”
According to Faughnan, the Government may be juggling multiple issues – including Brexit – but it can’t “ignore the issue of insurance costs or see it as a battle won” as some renewal notices are showing “jaw-dropping” price increases. Despite Central Statistics Office reporting stating that insurance costs have fallen, he believes the average motorist still pays 30% more than in 2015.
“The actions that Government need to take to ease the burden have been highlighted routinely and, in fact, many of the recommendations in the Cost of Insurance Working Group’s report reflected the suggestions of the AA and other organisations,” he told Irish Times. “Unfortunately, since the report’s publication we haven’t seen enough follow through and it appears that the report is now simply gathering dust on a shelf somewhere in the Department of Finance.”