Outrageous car insurance premiums hit rural Ireland particularly hard – Ó Caoláin
Sinn Féin TD Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin has said impact of increased car insurance premiums is being felt particularly badly in rural Ireland, given the dispersed nature of our towns, villages and countryside, and given the inadequate public transport system
Deputy Ó Caoláin said that would appear that the insurance industry is willing to take no responsibility for these outrageous premiums.
The Cavan-Monaghan TD said:
“It is extremely troubling to note that, on average, consumers have been faced with an increase of over 60% in the cost of their motor insurance since January 2014, with a 34% increase in the last 12 months alone. In many cases consumers have received renewal quotes that are multiples of their immediately preceding premium.
“The impact of these increases is being felt particularly badly in rural Ireland. Given the dispersed nature of our towns, villages and countryside, and given the inadequate public transport system, an ability to drive is crucially important for so many people. Many drivers and many people in rural areas reliant on private transport are effectively being forced off the road by unaffordable premiums.
“The high price of motor insurance is a burden on many Irish families and, most worryingly of all, the dramatic increase in premiums may lead to a greater number of uninsured drivers on our roads.
“In addition, it would appear that our older people have borne the brunt of what can only be described as a totally ageist approach by car insurance companies. I have been informed of an elderly woman’s car insurance being increased by €300 per annum. This is an outrageous additional demand on fixed and limited incomes. Older people are again in this instance being viewed as ‘a liability’ and a ‘soft touch’ by greedy insurance companies. This is an absolute disgrace.
“It would appear that the insurance industry is willing to take no responsibility for these outrageous premiums. Instead they have sought to pedal a view that bigger claim payouts, fraud, regulatory costs and so on are to blame.
“Correspondence received from the Central Bank by my colleague Pearse Doherty T.D. pointed to a long-term unsustainable way of doing business as representing the real reason behind the jumps in premiums. Therefore, a deeper look at the business model underpinning the insurance industry in Ireland is required.”