Motor premiums show no rise so far this year, according to CSO

Minister claims ‘lot of progress made’ in reforming industry amid 50 per cent rise in costs over three years

Minister of State Eoghan Murphy: Hoping for ’stabilisation’ in motor insurance. Photograph: The Irish Times

Minister of State Eoghan Murphy: Hoping for ’stabilisation’ in motor insurance. Photograph: The Irish Times

 

There has been no monthly increase in the cost of motor insurance for the third month in a row, according to the Central Statistics Office.

Commenting on the latest figures, Minister of State Eoghan Murphy said he is hopeful a “stabilisation” in motor insurance premiums will continue as the Cost of Insurance Working Group published its first quarterly update.

The group was set up to address the rising cost of motor insurance, which has risen more than 50 per cent in the past three years.

Mr Murphy, who chairs the working group, said in the update: “It should be noted that the latest data from the Central Statistics Office indicates that there has been no month-on-month increase in the cost of motor insurance during the first three months of this year.

“If this trend continues, I am hopeful that it might be signalling the start of a stabilisation of pricing in the market as the actions continue to be implemented over the next 18 months.”

Mr Murphy said “a lot of progress has been made” with 33 actions listed in total to reform the industry.

“Seven of the 10 actions scheduled for completion in quarter one have been fully completed, while the remaining measures have been partially completed and are due to be completed in the very near future,” he said.

Actions completed in the first quarter include a forum set up by Insurance Ireland for consumer and business issues a and the creation of the Personal Injuries Commission to provide guidance on compensation claims.

Fianna Fáil finance spokesman Michael McGrath said the Government “has failed to take decisive action” to stem the rises that are “placing families in severe financial difficulty”.

He said the quarterly update is “cold comfort” to motorists who are seeing their premiums continuing to rise.

“Too many of the recommendations are not planned or expected to be implemented for a number of months and even into 2018,” Mr McGrath said.

“Despite no discernible increase in the national average premium, the fact remains that there are still too many people being asked to pay more and more for their motor insurance, with increases of 30 and 40 per cent in premium costs being reported to me as late as last week.”

Mr McGrath told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland on Friday there is a need for “greater consistency and proportionate awards” for people involved in car crashes.

He said: “The formal process of the Injuries Board and the courts process is being bypassed more and more, and insurance companies are settling and making awards because of a concern about the lack of predictability and the lack of consistency around the issue of awards.”