Why is My Motor Insurance Premium Going ‘Through the Roof”?

The real issue now is that a number of ‘Direct’ insurers during recent years went after growth and market share, with unprofitable pricing. Every second advert on the TV, was for Go Direct for Motor Insurance – €269, €259, €239, €219 and €199 – How low could they go?

They created a frenzy of price cutting across the entire industry resulting in many being unable to pay the claims that followed through underfunding. That disaster was further amplified by changes in the award levels in court jurisdictions and of course fraud, which will always escalate following economic downturn. One of the biggest fraud rings was detected last year in the Avondhu region, between Mitchelstown and Killbeheny.

I wrote for the Winter Motoring supplement of the Avondhu in January, when I warned “This is unsustainable and can only lead to two things happening: Increased premiums for all and further cutbacks by Insurers to help cut costs”

Sadly, I was correct and now the pendulum has swung in the other direction. We will be paying for our last ‘Saviour’ Sean Quinn of Quinn Direct, for the next 20 years at the rate of 2% of every premium. On top of this, 3% goes to the Government. On top of all this, we have had the collapse of Setanta Insurance Company, who insured 75,000 Irish customers. Anybody who has a claim against Setanta is now in ‘limbo’.

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Although the High court has ruled that some 2,000 claimants will have to be dealt with by the Motor Insurance Bureau of Ireland and this was agreed with by the Appeals Court of Ireland, however this is now being appealed to the Supreme Court, which means that the claimants are still in limbo. Which or whether, it’s you the consumer, that once again that will have to pick up the tab, which is now estimated at €50 per motor policy.

To top it off, the main insurers and the central Bank are telling insurers to ‘beef up’ their reserves, as there could well be another collapse or withdrawal from the market of another insurer or more. This ‘body language’ emanating from Ireland, is send shivers down the back of foreign investors, who now view Irish motor as a ‘basket case’.

‘Whiplash’, when it happens can be a very sore thing and last for decades, but that’s Genuine Whiplash’. The problem is that no medical doctor or specialist can determine whether or not it’s genuine and in the majority of cases, most soft tissue pain disappears after four to six weeks. So why in Ireland are we paying out €15,000 plus legal costs to most ‘whiplash’ claimants? In Germany they supply Physio and no cash and the UK are moving in that same direction – Care not Cash!

The Injuries Board, which came into existence nearly fifteen years ago, was very effective for many years, however it has become ineffective, as astute lawyers have found a way around having to go though the Board for their claim. All they have to claim is that their client is suffering from physiological problems, after the accident/incident; Can’t Sleep; Having Nightmares, Can’t face work, Can’t have sex etc… The Injuries board will then run a mile, leaving the lawyer to move to the District Circuit Court for €15,000 or, as is the case on many occasions, The Circuit court for €60,000. Happy Days!

 

The whole principle of insurance is the ‘the premiums of many – pay the claims of a few’ . The problem now is that the sins of the past have come back to haunt the Insurers and the few have become man,y and accordingly more premium is required. It’s all well and fine when you are looking for the cheapest price, but ‘Cheapest is not always Best’. Thousands of consumers are now finding this out to their cost, because if and when, they have an incident/accident, there is no one to talk to. You cannot talk to your computer and these call centres are more based on sales rather than solving your problems. Trying to get the same person twice is near impossible and it is very easy for them to say NO.

33% of all deaths on Irish roads, in 2015, was caused by ‘Uninsured or Not Properly insured vehicles’ This statistic is frightening! The Gardai have had their numbers drastically reduced and they do not have the resources to police a lot of this uninsured activity.On top of this, they do not have the ‘weaponry’ to tell whether a guy is insured or not, if and when they stop someone on the side of the road.

A full set of forgeries, including insurance disc, Licence and NCT, can be bought on the ‘Black Market’ for €150! Not worth the paper they are written on, but they will pass the Gardai with them. However when an accident happens, or worse still a serious injury, or as above, fatality, then you’re in deep trouble.

McCarthy Insurance Group, in complete contrast, will deal with you face to face and you get to talk to a local person who knows and understands your problem, but more importantly wants to help you. From my personal dealings, I hear horror stories every day of the week, of people who have gone to these ‘direct’ insurers and when they have gone to claim on the policy, have discovered the pitfalls that I have outlined above.

Invariably, people say to me: “ I thought ye were all the same, I never saw the question, I didn’t understand it, I thought I was buying the same product that I always had from you, It said comprehensive so I ASSUMED it was all encompassing” Well, now, let the buyer beware. Not all Comprehensive policies are comprehensive, so check before you buy! That is my word of advice to you reading this today.

We at MIG have been to the forefront of looking after our clients, through good and not so good times. We employ 170 people and have been around since 1952, so we must be doing something right! We are not the same as all the others we are unique in what we offer!

We Listen to you – We Research the market – We Advise & Recommend – We Support you!

‘We are McCarthy Insurance Group and we are most definitely on Your Side’