Easytrip plans foray into motor insurance market

‘Motor insurance prices remain too high in Ireland,’ says company’s chief executive

The company, which is a joint venture between the French multinational Egis and the Dublin-based Electro Automation

The company, which is a joint venture between the French multinational Egis and the Dublin-based Electro Automation

 

Easytrip Ireland, a motorway tolling and parking tag provider, is planning to enter the Irish motor insurance market next year as a broker offering coverage from a number of insurers.

The company, which is a joint venture between the French multinational Egis and the Dublin-based Electro Automation, will initially target its exiting 200,000-plus customer base as it seeks to build an insurance business, according to Colin Delaney, chief executive of Easytrip Ireland.

“Motor insurance prices remain too high in Ireland,” Mr Delaney said, adding that the data Easytrip Ireland holds on customers should help insurance underwriters to divide them into different categories and offer better rates.

Mr Delaney declined to name the insurance companies it is in talks with or to outline how much of the motor insurance market his business, which also offers roadside breakdown assistance, is targeting.

The average Irish motor premium rose 66 per cent from a low point of €431 in the final three months of 2013 to €714 in the second quarter of 2018 before dropping 9 per cent to €653 in late 2019, according to a Central Bank report published last month.

The report also found that insurers operating in the Republic saw profits on motor coverage lines surge 9 per cent to €142 million last year, as the loss ratio hovered around the lowest levels of the past decade.

Cost of claims

Claim costs fell to 59 per cent of total motor premiums in 2019 from a peak of 92 per cent in 2014 and an average of 72 per cent over the past decade, according to the bank’s second annual Private Motor Insurance Report, drawing on the National Claims Information Database figure.

Meanwhile, the Government published a 66-point action plan this week in an effort to tackle insurance costs in the State.

These include enhancing the role of the Personal Injuries Assessment Board to limit personal injury claims ending up going the legal route, as well as a plan to place perjury on a statutory footing, making it easier to prosecute cases of alleged insurance fraud.

The recently established Judicial Council is working on guidelines for personal injury court awards, and the Government has decided to “monitor” whether they will ultimately need to be capped.