Hibernian steps back after row


The Hibernian Group has hastily retreated from comments made on how it assesses the premiums it charges motorists.

At a briefing on its annual results on Tuesday, company executives indicated that it would use new factors to assess which type of motorist should benefit from lower premiums and which should be increased, including an individual's lifestyle, finances and address.

Last night, however, the company, stated that it does not seek, nor does it intend to seek, information regarding any individual's personal financial circumstances. It also states that it does not discriminate against customers living in particular areas, such as Tallaght.

The statement was in response to the public outcry over the comments made to the media. The company said last night that it wished to clarify its position. Its explanation of the lifestyles approach to evaluating prospective customers had been misleading, it said.

Chief executive, Mr Adrian Daly, said the company was not proposing any change in its motor insurance underwriting policy for the foreseeable future. "The basis on which Hibernian quotes its customers is, and will continue to be, dependent on an individual's historic claims, car type and engine capacity, driver age and experience, gender and whether they live in an urban or rural area," according to the statement.

It also stated that Hibernian did not discriminate against customers living in Tallaght or in any other area in Dublin.

Mr Daly said the company was very concerned that its remarks did cause confusion and was now seeking to clarify its position.