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Motor insurance

Motor insurance premiums fell by 17% between 2017 and 2021

That’s according to statistics contained in the Central Bank’s fourth annual Private Motor Insurance Report.

MOTOR INSURANCE PREMIUMS have fallen by 17% between the fourth quarter in 2017 and the fourth quarter in 2021. 

That’s according to statistics contained in the Central Bank’s fourth annual Private Motor Insurance Report. 

As with last year’s report, the data in this year’s report is impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic and related government restrictions. 

The report shows that the average premium cost per policy decreased by 2% to €607 between 2020 and 2021. The total earned premium for private motor insurance in Ireland last year was €1.38 billion. 

The frequency of claims increased by 11% last year. However, this was still 15% below pre-Covid levels in 2019. 

The report shows that motor insurance premiums fell by 17% between the fourth quarter in 2017 and the fourth quarter in 2021. 

“The cost of insurance is a key concern for consumers, so it is positive to see motor premiums falling for a fifth consecutive year,” Insurance Ireland chief executive Moyagh Murdock said. 

“We have consistently called for the introduction of reforms by Government that would reduce market volatility and bring more consistency for policyholders. The falling premiums in this report provide clear evidence that the reforms are starting to work and consumers are benefitting while they are seeing rising costs in many other areas of the economy,” Murdock said.

Settling claims

The report also provides information on how claims were settled.

Last year, 16% of claims were settled under the new Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB) guidelines. 

PIAB’s assessment service is an alternative to litigation and reduces stress and costs for all parties. 

The Personal Injuries Guidelines were introduced in April 2021. 

The guidelines set out the level of general damages that may be awarded in respect of varying types of personal injuries. 

Both PIAB and the Courts must have regard for the guidelines in determining awards, and where the guidelines are not used to determine an award, they will need to give the reason for doing so.  

For claims that were settled through PIAB last year, 20% were settled under the guidelines. 

Looking at cost of claims between 2015 and 2021, for 94% of claimants the total cost of a claim was less than €100,000. 

Where settled directly, the average compensation was €13,933 and the average legal costs were €1,568. 

Where settled through the PIAB, the average compensation was €21,856 and the average legal costs were €686. 

Where settled via litigation, the average compensation was €24,174 and the average legal costs were €15,567.

“While the latest data from PIAB, published earlier this month, shows a more positive trend emerging in 2022 in terms of claimants accepting PIAB awards, the proportion of cases going through litigation remains far too high,” Murdock said.

“It is well publicised that the cost of legal fees feeds into the cost of insurance significantly, so this issue needs to be prioritised in order to swing the pendulum back in favour of consumers and the economy,” she added. 

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