Motor insurance premiums rising

Premiums risingInsurance Ireland has raised concern about increasing insurance premiums for customers. One of the key factors it identified in driving up premiums is the high cost of awards in courts.

Kevin Thompson, CEO, Insurance Ireland, commented “Motor injury awards made by the Injuries Board averaged €21k in 2014, a very high average considering that 80% of motor injury claims are for whiplash...in Ireland the average award for whiplash is €15k, in the UK, the corresponding figure is €5k. The reality is that premiums are dictated by claims costs, and although the Irish market is very competitive, increases in the cost of claims will inevitably lead to increases in premiums.”

It is believed that the high level of awards is tempting drivers to commit fraud, as was the case with the Corcoran brothers and Romanian driver, Neagu Alexandru who staged a car crash and made a fraudulent personal injury claim. Insurance fraud adds around €50 per annum to the average motor premium.

High legal costs are another reason for rising premiums, accounting for more than 60 per cent of the compensation awarded in litigated cases.