Hopefully, we should see a fall in the price of motor and liability insurance renewal premiums from Monday 26th April.
The expected drop in insurance premiums should come about as a result of new guidelines on personal injury awards. These guidelines were recently approved by the Judicial Council and came into effect on April 24th.
It is estimated the changes should result in an average 50% cut in the payouts for personal injuries in Ireland.
Central Bank of Ireland analysis found that 42% of a motor policy cost is made up of injury compensation payments.
These injury award cuts should result in the cost of motor and liability insurance policy renewals dropping by as much as 20%. The Government has urged insurers to pass the savings on.
The Minister for Finance (Paschal Donohoe) said in the Dail on March 31st :-
“I reiterate the strong expectation of the Government that insurers responding to this key reform in a positive and generous manner need to do this by passing on savings to consumers and businesses. The insurance industry has previously committed to reduce premiums in line with lower award levels and I and the Government will hold it to account on this pledge.”
However – the insurance industry is under no obligation to cut premiums – and there are many who think the cuts, if any, will be small.
A 2019 Central Bank report revealed that the motor insurance industry in Ireland was making an operating profit of no less than 9%, while the average level of profit in the UK was just 5%.
Insurers operating in the Republic saw profits on motor coverage surge by 9 per cent to €142 million in 2019.
From 2013 to 2018, the average cost of claims per motor policy increased by 14 per cent to €426. In the same period – the increase in average premiums was 62 per cent to €706.