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The decreases have been welcomed by an insurance reform group. Alamy Stock Photo
car insurance

Average car insurance premiums fell by 7% last year

On a quarterly basis, the average earned premium has decreased by 22% since its highest point in Q4 2017.

AVERAGE CAR INSURANCE premiums fell by 7% last year, according to the Central Bank.

On a quarterly basis, the average earned premium has decreased by 22% since its highest point in Q4 2017.

The reductions have been welcomed by the Alliance for Insurance Reform which said it was “only right that at least some of the savings were passed on” to policy holders.

Jennifer Carroll MacNeill TD, the Minister of State for Financial Services, Credit Unions and Insurance, noted Central Bank’s publication of the fifth National Claims Information Database (NCID) Private Motor Insurance Report for 2022.

“It’s good to see that many individuals and families benefitted from reduced motor insurance premiums again in 2022 at a time when they were experiencing significant inflationary pressures elsewhere,” MacNeill said.

“Having more affordable motor insurance with a greater protection of cover is a good position for over 2 million policyholders to be in.”

The minister said that the Central Bank report shows that new personal injuries guidelines are working, pointing to data showing that half of all injury claimants that settled in 2022 did so under the guidelines, compared to 16 per cent in 2021.

This included the majority of claims that were settled either direct or through the Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB).

The new guidelines, which came into effect in 2021 and replaced guidance in the Book of Quantum, set out the level of damages that may be awarded or assessed in respect of personal injuries.

“However, the Central Bank’s report also highlights that litigation remains a main driver of claims costs, an issue I am raising directly with firms in the industry and with the Law Society of Ireland,” MacNeill said.

“I am also engaging with insurers on the need for them to increase their risk appetites and reduce prices for home owners, voluntary groups and businesses so that they too can benefit from the recent package of insurance reforms by government in a way that motorists already have.”

In a statement welcoming the Central Bank report, the Alliance for Insurance Reform chief executive Brian Hanley said more reductions should arise as judicial guidelines filter through into more cases, “notwithstanding challenges such as inflation”.

“Businesses right across the country are also left wondering why premium reductions could be passed on in the context of motor insurance but have not been forthcoming for public or employer liability policies, which remain stubbornly high. The reforms applied to and should benefit everyone,” Hanley said.

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