Notwithstanding the fraught state of the Irish car insurance market, the current treatment of young drivers by insurance companies is arbitrary and unfair.
2 days ago, the Garda Twitter account reported that they stopped 7 uninsured drivers at a checkpoint in one day.
Our own Jonathan Hehir, MD of Coverinaclick.ie while speaking with various newspapers, said that the premium prices are grossly unfair and potentially lead to undesirable trends in driver behaviour. Due to young drivers being priced out of the market and in some cases refused quotes entirely, an increased number of uninsured drivers has been recorded on the roads.
Other reports indicate that some young drivers may be forced into a “cul de sac”, finding themselves with no option but to drive without insurance. Particularly in rural areas where transport infrastructure and services may be limited, this could pose a considerable problem and contribute to a dangerous trend.
For instance, this year, almost 1,200 drivers were refused a quote for car insurance by three or more insurers, making it the highest number of multiple refusals on record. New data was also released by Insurance Ireland showing that 1,164 drivers seeking cover for their vehicles were dealt with under the Declined Cases Agreement in 2015. The agreement makes sure that anyone who was denied a quote by three different firms must be offered coverage on the fourth attempt. In comparison to the number of applications made under the Declined Case Agreement in 2012, there has been a six-fold increase. In 2012 only 178 requests from drivers were received.
According to another report by the Motor Insurers Bureau of Ireland, the average cost of car insurance is estimated to have increased by over 70% since 2013, with some premiums rising at a much higher rate.
Jonathan Hehir says that he believes that “insurers have just been trying to stay above water of late but that now is the time for them to consider their pricing strategy and realise that they can lower premiums for young drivers whilst still having a profitable business.”
“Many young drivers now find it impossible to get insured without paying thousands. This needs to change and the high premiums should be shared across the board. My view is that younger drivers are a soft target. A number of factors have come together to make younger drivers far safer than those of just a decade ago. Unlike the older generations, the majority of young drivers simply do not drink and drive. It is taboo among the generation. Similarly, driving without a full-licence holder has become taboo also.”
Considering these factors and the dangerous implications of pricing young drivers out of the market there is certainly room for change, both from the legislative side and from the insurers.
In the interim, before a more conclusive solution to this problem is found, Irish drivers should shop around more in order to get the best deals in car insurance, loyalty to one insurer is unlikely to pay off in this climate.
At Coverinaclick.ie, we specialise in car insurance for young drivers. As a broker, we have extensive access to the various insurance products available on the market. We compare them to find you the most competitive quote.
Call us on 01 231 9310 to speak to a specialist or Click Here to fill out a quick quote form.