Insurance Ireland criticise premium hikes for young drivers

Insurance Ireland have hit out at the ever-rising car insurance premiums which affect the demographic of young and inexperienced drivers more than others.

According to the AA, Irish drivers have paid an extra €300 million in car insurance premiums over the past year.

Insurance Ireland, which represents the vast majority of multiple insurance markets, believes a range of measures are needed to stabilise pricing for consumers, particularly in the area of motor premiums.

Kevin Thompson, CEO of Insurance Ireland, has suggested the augmentation of legal costs have had a lot to do with the corresponding hikes in premiums.

“Motor claims costs are rising.  The level of awards being made in the Courts is at an all-time high,” said Thompson.

According to Insurance Ireland, the average High Court award in 2014 was up 34 per cent on 2013 and the average Circuit Court award was up 14 per cent on 2013. In litigated cases, legal costs in Ireland account for more than 60 per cent of the compensation awarded.

Incoming VP for Welfare and Equality Cody Byrne would like the USI to step in and attempt to halt the insurance cost increases.

“I do feel that the USI should investigate the possibility of lobbying for, at the very least, a cap on car insurance premiums” said Byrne.

Byrne understands the reasoning behind higher premiums for younger, more inexperienced drivers but feels this leads to a vicious cycle.

“We tell young drivers that they’re being charged more because they’re more likely to drive recklessly and so they engage in behaviours that justify those expectations,” Byrne said.

Byrne is disappointed that this is yet another cost for some students that keeps continuing to rise.

“This seems to be a growing trend.” said Byrne. “The prices keep going up, yet the wage remains the same. Dublin accommodation rent prices, public transport, insurance premiums, even groceries.”

“It is getting more and more financially strenuous to become a full-time student,” he said.


Brein McGinn

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