Irish car insurances costs are huge. If you are a young driver or the owner of car that is more than ten years old, you will be fleeced.
Insurance Ireland, the body representing the main corporations, claims the reason is the high pay-outs for accidents.
But this is propaganda designed to cover their own demand for huge profits. Between 2013 and 2016, the costs of insurance rose by 70%. Yet the number of road accidents has been falling and the costs of accidents between 2007 and 2012 fell by 44%.
Insurance companies had lost out on speculating in the global financial markets and wanted to restore their profit margins by high costs.
The Fine Gael led government has sat back and did little to reduce costs. In 2016, Eoghan Murphy set up a special working group to discover ‘the priority actions required to tackle the costs of insurance’.
Like much else, it turned out to be a public relations stunt.
Costs have fallen slightly but only because there was an EU investigation. Raids were staged on some offices to see if a cartel was in operation to keep out cheaper car insurance companies.
The insurance industry ran scared and slightly dropped their prices. But the huge increase that took place between 2013 and 2016 has not been reversed.
People Before Profit has consistently advocated a different set of policies to reduce car insurance costs. We want:
- A public insurance company, run on a not-for-profit basis to provide cheap third party insurance for all drivers. A system like this has run in Manitoba in Canada for many years.
- A state run not-for-profit legal service – with a clear cost structure – to deal with the cost of court cases.
- Legislation to make discrimination against younger drivers or those with older cars (or indeed many of the other spurious reasons sometimes given for higher costs) illegal.
- Invest in public transport to offer people alternatives to car use.