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Murphy questions Rip-Off Car Insurance Practices

7 February, 2012 - by Westminster

Sinn Féin Economy Spokesperson, Conor Murphy MP, MLA has called on Insurance Companies to explain the criteria used to arrive at the premiums charged for car insurance here and particularly when issuing policies through local Brokerage Agencies.

Conor Murphy said:

“I have been contacted by a number of constituents in recent weeks querying massive increases in premiums and the practice of Insurance Companies operating in the North of Ireland charging even more exorbitantly increased premiums if you deal through a local broker rather than directly with the Insurance Company.

“Not only do we pay excessively more for Insurance here than in Britain and elsewhere- sometimes up to 70% more - but it would now seem that if we decide to shop locally we are again penalised by being charged at times an additional 50% for purchasing Insurance through a local Broker.

“Constituents have told me that in the course of shopping around for the best price they have been quoted as much as £200 more by local brokers compared to what the main Insurance Company quotes direct for the same policy.

“When investigating how this could arise I have discovered that brokers only work on under 10% commission which exposes the fact that even allowing for the small remuneration received by the brokers the Insurance Companies are inflating the cost of insurance purchased locally by hundreds of pounds. How can companies justify identical Policies from the same Insurer costing hundreds of pounds more through a Broker? This additional premium goes directly to the Insuring Company not the Broker.

“Insurance costs are high enough here without this additional rip-off by Insurance Companies. I intend to contact the Office of Fair Trading with the view to having it investigated and recompense considered for those who have been victims of this unacceptable practice.

“Claims of legal costs, personal injury settlements etc, being higher here made by Insurance Companies to justify higher premiums do not explain or justify this type of rip-off pricing practice.

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