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Drop in motor insurance premiums in 2011

The AA said that the average price of a motor insurance policy has dropped from €567 to €549 since the beginning of this year, and that the new stringent drink-driving laws could have a further positive effect.

Image: Mark Stedman / Photocall Ireland

THE AVERAGE PRICE of a motor insurance policy has dropped from €567 to €549 since the beginning of this year.

AA Ireland said that the drop in premiums is a decrease of 3 per cent and that it is a “small but welcome reduction”.

The figures come from the AA Irish Motor Insurance Premium Index.

With this index, the AA tracks a fixed basket of 200 identical motor insurance risks, representative of the Irish motoring population, since the beginning of 2011.

It sourced 1,800 quotes from nine different insurance providers and analysed them across a range of categories.

John Farrell, Director of AA Insurance, said:

There are quite a few variables that are likely to have brought about this small downward shift since the start of the year. Road deaths are down, thankfully, and there has been a drop of over 10 per cent in car thefts and associated crimes over the last twelve months.

He also said the introduction of more stringent drink drive limits could have a positive impact on motor insurance premiums.

In Sweden, a similar move saw an 11 per cent decrease in single-vehicle collisions, which in turn led to a reduction in personal injury and material damage claims.

However, the recent floods may have a knock-on effect on insurance premiums.

When it comes to the major burdens on motorists, the AA pointed the figure at uninsured drivers, saying that the Motor Insurance Bureau of Ireland paid out €59 million to 3,484 crash victims in 2010 – all as a result of collisions with uninsured drivers.

The groups that saw the biggest improvements in their premium prices, according to the AA index, were male drivers (a drop of 4 per cent on average) and those with more than five years no claims discount (also an average drop of 4 per cent).

Premiums for female drivers remain statistically lower but the gap between genders narrowed during the third quarter of this year – from 9 per cent to 7 per cent on average.

Once the EU Gender directive comes into effect in December of next year, this gap is expected to virtually disappear.

Finally, despite the challenging economic conditions, 90 per cent of motorists still opt for fully comprehensive motor insurance.

Read: One in five have recently travelled with drunk driver>

Read: 59 million paid out on behalf of uninsured drivers – report>

Read: Lower drink-drive limits to be introduced this week>

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