Motor insurance increases taper off in November

CSO figures show prices still 11.7% higher than in same month last year

Motor insurance premiums were climbing at an annual rate of 38.5 per cent in July. Photograph: iStock

Motor insurance premiums were climbing at an annual rate of 38.5 per cent in July. Photograph: iStock

 

The cost of motor insurance rose by almost 1 per cent last month, leaving prices 11.7 per cent higher on average than the same month last year. The rate of increase in motor insurance premiums, which were climbing at an annual rate of 38.5 per cent in July, has moderated in recent months. However, average costs have jumped by 50 per cent over the past three years.

The controversial rate of increase in motor insurance costs is being examined by an expert group established by the Government and, separately, an Oireachtas committee has already published a list of recommendations on the matter. Premiums started to rise sharply in the middle of last year, as the sector responded to ongoing massive underwriting losses.

Levelling off

Monthly increases have started to level off in recent months, according to figures from the Central Statistics Office. A breakdown of its monthly consumer price index data shows premiums have fallen in two of the most four recent months, with an 8.1 per cent drop in October, followed by a 0.9 per cent rise in November.

However, prices remain more than 36 per cent higher than they were at the start of 2015, before the latest period of rapid premium increases got underway.

The Government-appointed expert group has signalled that it will make a range of proposals, including measures to improve consumer information and protection, better data on claims, moves to increase the use of the Personal Injuries Assessment Board and measures to crack down on fraud. It will also call for a new commission to examine and advise on the level of awards.