Companies must account for high number of public complaints about price of motor insurance

April 20, 2017

Motor insurance companies need to be challenged on high prices

Social Democrats Wicklow County Councillor Jennifer Whitmore says insurance companies need to account for new figures showing that more than half of all complaints to the Central Bank about motor insurance relate to pricing.

According to a report issued today by the Central Bank, 6,000 of the 11,500 complaints received in the second half of last year (52 per cent) relate to the prices of motor insurance premiums.

Councillor Whitmore said: “These figures really aren’t surprising. There has been a massive rip-off of Irish motorists over recent years, with many people facing increases of hundreds of euro when they go to renew their car insurance.

“Insurance companies need to be challenged on why prices are so high. Anecdotally, certain categories of drivers seem to have been hit very hard. These include drivers who were previously a “named-driver” on a spouse’s insurance, drivers of older cars, and taxi-drivers. There is no justification for the price levels drivers have seen over recent years.

“The Government really needs to get to grips with the problem. There are practical steps that can be taken to reduce prices such as bringing down the high cost of Irish claims to levels seen in other European countries, allowing non-legal routes to settling claims so they are less costly to settle, and encouraging greater competition between insurance companies.”

Today’s figures are contained in the Central Bank’s Consumer Protection Bulletin, which focuses on the motor insurance sector.